The beautiful day of Luis Suarez

The beautiful day of Luis Suarez

Funny day Sunday in Uruguay during which everyone was turned towards an event: the return of a player. From the arrival of his flight in Uruguayan airspace to his presentation at the Gran Parque Central, the club and the player had seen the big picture. What’s more normal ?

Kylian Mbappé usually has a very controlled, tied, clean communication, some would say modern, let’s say a little sanitized. However, he unwittingly triggered a small controversy in South America some time ago when he declared that ” Argentina and Brazil don’t play high-level matches before qualifying for the World Cup. In South America, football is not as advanced as in Europe”. Not very smart words when you see the attack very ” european of his team. The liberalization of work has meant that for thirty years, South American players have all left to play in Europe to earn more money. One might think that this situation is immutable, but it represents only thirty years out of a hundred and twenty years (roughly speaking) of football history. For South American clubs to regain the upper hand over European clubs like in the 1980s, they only need one thing: South American players. This is undoubtedly one of the lessons of the week that has just passed in Uruguay, a week of love, madness and Luis Suárez.

After the announcement of his arrival, the club worked on a presentation at the Gran Parque Central (about twenty thousand seats sold at a minimum of four hundred pesos, or about ten euros). Luis Suárez arrived Sunday morning in the private jet of Lionel Messi (who had made a first trip from Argentina to Spain empty…). The theft was followed live on television channels such as Channel 10with long shots on flight tracking tools like Flightradar. It arrived over Uruguayan territory at 10:45 a.m. according to the alert of Ovacion. We could then follow, second after second, until landing, this little yellow plane on a map. The player then got into a Renault van, window open with his children, and had all the trouble in the world to get out of the first roundabout of the old airport. The course was then simpler with a police cordon and a smiling Suárez, at the window, greeting everyone who came to see him along the Rambla de Carrasco.

The player and his family then arrived at the Gran Parque Central and took part in a set of festivities including the gift of Emmanuel Gigliotti, giving him the number 9, and that of Sergio Rochet giving him the captain’s armband. Suárez also received a little message from the man who had lent him a plane, so a very good friend: Lionel Messi. The latter did not tell him that he accepted the challenge and that he was joining Newell’sbut ” I wish you the best, I’ll follow you from here, you know Newell’s fans don’t have a very good memory of Nacional [Messi semble plus au fait de l’histoire du football que Mbappé et fait référence à 1988 notamment], but you know I would do anything for you. No I’m kidding [rires]. I wish you the best, I love you very much and I send you a big kiss [traduction littérale sans doute trop littérale de beso grande] and hope to see you soon. Ciao “.

The day ended with a group photo of the entire club squad, and a plane passing through the sky with the message that has now entered the caption #SuarezANacional. All this could have been too much for a player of thirty-five, signing for just four months. But after thirty years during which the country was bled of its players, it was almost little. In fact, the problem of South American football, the desertion of the stands, the lack of interest, the drop in level, all of this has a simple solution. So simple that it had not been considered: that South American players play in South America.

Photo: Ernesto Ryan/Getty Images


Jerome Lecigne

Author: Jerome Lecigne

Specialist in Uruguayan football, Switzerland in South America, homeland of poets Jules Supervielle, Juan Carlos Onetti and Alvaro Recoba

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