Luis Suarez scored two goals in his goodbye game for Gremio. Gremio won 3-2 against Fluminense at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.
Luis Suarez in action
Luis Suarez scored two goals in his goodbye game for Gremio. They won 3-2 against Fluminense at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday. The 36-year-old Uruguayan football star, who might go play with his friend Lionel Messi at Inter Miami, scored in the 43rd minute and then got another goal with a clever panenka from the penalty spot in the 64th minute. This win made sure Gremio ended up in second place in the Brazilian championship, just two points behind the champions Palmeiras, as the season finished on Wednesday.
Suarez had a great time playing soccer in Brazil this season. He decided to end his two-year contract with Gremio early because the schedule was too demanding for his older body.
Suarez was the captain of Gremio and played in 54 out of 64 matches in 2023. He scored a total of 29 goals during that time.
He finished the year as the second-best goal scorer in the Brazilian league, scoring 17 goals and boosting Gremio, a team that was not doing well, to have a surprisingly good season.
Suarez hasn’t talked about the rumors connecting him to a move to join his former Barcelona teammate Messi in Miami. He says he wants to concentrate on his family and health before anything else.
“I enjoy this job, but it’s tough waking up in pain every morning,” he mentioned last weekend. “I’m determined and want to continue playing, but I’m uncertain about what happens next.”
He made those remarks after scoring the only goal in Gremio’s victory against Vasco in his last home match. The packed crowd gave him a heartfelt standing ovation.
His time at Gremio might have been a quiet farewell, following his return to his childhood club, Nacional, last year, and a tearful exit with Uruguay during the group stage of the 2022 World Cup.
Instead, Suarez performed exceptionally well in the club’s first season back in top-flight play after a difficult relegation. He played a key role in securing the Rio Grande do Sul state championship and state winners’ cup titles for the team, with a memorable hat trick by Suarez.
Porto Alegre quickly embraced “Suarezmania”: the striker was granted honorary citizenship, and the state government awarded him a medal.
The number of people attending Gremio’s stadium doubled, and the club saw a record-breaking increase in sales of jerseys and other merchandise during that time.
Fans and local politicians attempted to convince Suarez to reconsider his decision to leave after he shared his plans in July.
Adding to the challenge of leaving, Gremio’s impressive performance this season has secured their qualification for the Copa Libertadores next year, which is the South American equivalent of Europe’s Champions League.
“I would have liked to play in that competition. However, my body is making the decisions,” Suarez stated.
“I need rest, leisure, and time to think. It’s tough to say ‘enough.’ Footballers are never prepared for retirement,” he expressed.