Luis Suarez was subject to a mammoth portrait from Wright Thompson in ESPN yesterday. The main thrust of the article was trying to find the mysterious Uruguayan ref that a sixteen year old Suarez allegedly head-butted in 2003. However, in the midst of the article, Thompson touched upon an episode in Suarez' life which places him at the heart of the love story of the decade.
Thompson wrote that Suarez was simply an angry, surly teenager, falling behind in school. This changed when he met Sofia Balbi.
She had blond hair and fair skin. Luis worked as a street sweeper, and during a shift he picked up coins so he could take her out. Her family lived a comfortable life, and they let Luis into their home. He ate regular meals at Sofia's. She told him his poor grades came from laziness and not stupidity, and she demanded he work harder.
In 2003, she and her family left for Spain. The young Luis became enormously depressed.
So his lovesick mind concocted a completely irrational plan, typical of the teenage boy species: He would dedicate himself to soccer, working hard and endlessly, and he'd get good enough to earn a position on a European team and the team would fly him across the ocean to his Sofia. Nuts, right?
Incredibly, this plan worked. Suarez was picked up by Dutch side Groningen in 2006, moving on to Ajax the following season. Him and Sofia married in 2009. They currently have two children.
I can hear Hollywood producers salivating as we speak. If only Suarez was an upper-class English gent, Richard Curtis would be all over it.
You can read the rest of Wright Thompson's sensational tour de force of an article on Suarez here.