Signed from Brazilian club Grêmio, Luis Suárez is set to join Inter Miami for the 2024 Major League Soccer season.
UEFA Champions League and Cópa America winner Luis Suárez has agreed to a move to Inter Miami for the 2024 Major League Soccer season following a one-year stint for Grêmio in Brazil’s top division. The iconic Uruguayan striker will be reunited with Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba, and Sergio Busquets, with whom he won four La Liga titles and a treble at FC Barcelona. Suárez netted over 500 goals throughout his career, becoming one of only 24 players ever to reach this tally. His prior talent and goal-scoring ability are undeniable, but does he, at 37 years old, still have the quality to help Inter Miami’s aspiration of winning the MLS Cup?
Unlike his previously mentioned teammates, Suárez did not arrive at Inter Miami directly from Europe. After departing from Atletico Madrid in 2022, he spent two years in South America, playing for boyhood club Nacional and also Grêmio, signifying a drop in his ability. These leagues are also much less competitive than the MLS and especially La Liga, so this move will force him to readjust to a higher standard of play. In these two years, Suárez was dealing with several muscular problems, including a knee problem that has only gotten more severe with age.
His physical decline is clear, but I still believe Suárez can play an influential role at Inter Miami if he adjusts his game.
In his prime years, Suárez was known for his directness, terrorizing defenders by running straight at them and using his pace and strength to get past them. He was also relentless in his pressing, always chasing down defenders and maintaining a high work rate. However, due to his age and recent injuries, this style of play will no longer be possible. For Suárez to remain effective and useful for his new team he will need to adapt and hone in on some of his other skills, such as his awareness, movement, and finishing. These are much less affected by age, so he will need to focus on these to still have success against much faster, physical opposition.
In my opinion, this is not that drastic of a change for Suárez. Of course, as one of the greatest strikers of his generation, he also had the finishing and awareness to partner with his physical ability, but he did not need to rely on these aspects of his game as much. I also think his former teammates, especially Messi, who he will be playing in attack with, will help him adapt in this manner. After leading the attack together for several seasons at Barcelona, they will be used to each other’s movements, helping bring out the best of Suárez. As long as he can adopt this new playstyle, Suárez still has the potential to bring success to Inter Miami and improve the league’s overall standard.