Luis Suarez broke down in tears as he made an emotional return to the pitch in Uruguay where he first kicked a football.
The Barcelona star and his family went back to his first club, Nacional, where a new synthetic pitch has been named in his honour.
And the opening ceremony for the Luis Alberto Suarez pitch at Nacional’s Los Cespedes training complex in Montevideo clearly brought a lot of happy memories flooding back for the striker.
‘The feeling is of emotion and joy,’ he told the crowd. ‘For a long time I couldn’t come, everyone will understand that because of a calendar issue which is difficult to compromise.
‘I wanted my children to see where I came from, where I was born as a footballer.’
Suarez joined the youth ranks at Nacional at the age of 14 and was playing for their first team two years later before coming to Europe with the Dutch club Groningen.
And having been on a spectacular journey first, Suarez was obliging with some words of advice to the players of the Nacional junior sides that watched his address.
He said: ‘Although they are going to go through very difficult moments at 13 years, 14, 15, 18… in fact any age… the boys must enjoy themselves.
‘And never give up. Because of each one’s own pride, they cannot give up.
‘I say it because I’ve been through a lot and here in Nacional I’ve always been treated spectacularly.
‘I am privileged to have a pitch in my name and I am totally grateful to Nacional.’
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