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Luis Suarez wins golden ball in Brazil

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Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez

Gremio striker Luis Suarez was presented with the golden ball on Thursday for the best player of the 2023 Brazilian Serie A.

After a slow start to the season, the Uruguayan went on a prolific scoring run to finish the campaign with 17 goals and 11 assists from 33 games.

Across all competitions, he netted 26 times and provided 17 assists for the Porto Alegre club, whom he joined from Uruguay’s Nacional in January.

“I am almost 37 years old, this is the year I played the most games in my career,” the former Liverpool, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid player said upon receiving the award.

“It was also the year I was most often distant from my family. This award belongs to them,” he added while holding back tears.

Suarez initially signed a two-year deal with Gremio but is free to leave this month after renegotiating his contract in July. In recent weeks, Gremio fans have bombarded his social media pages with messages imploring him to stay.

“It is hard to see rival fans here applaud you when you play, and that did happen to me in some places,” Suarez said. “This is all about the player’s mind. It doesn’t matter how old they are. It just depends on the mindset and the commitment.”

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