Five facts on Uruguay striker Luis Suarez
Five facts on Uruguay striker Luis Suarez, who on Thursday underwent surgery on a knee injury which leaves him in a race against time to be fit for the World Cup finals.
1 - Suarez was born January 24, 1987 in Salto, Uruguay, a city close to the Argentine border famous for its thermal baths. He was the fourth of seven boys -- his elder brother Paolo is also a professional footballer, playing for Comunicaciones in Guatemala -- raised by a single mother.
2 - Suarez featured as the face of a television commerical promoting hearing aids in the Netherlands during his time at Dutch giants Ajax.
The Uruguayan, whose distinctive ears played a key role in him landing the job, was filmed walking into an Amsterdam branch of Beter Horen and enquiring about a product that would help eliminate irritating background noises such as the "very annoying" sounds of referees` whistles ringing in his ears.
The advert also picked up on Suarez`s competitive nature, the Uruguayan reacting in mock horror when he was asked to "sit on the bench" as an alternative prescription for earplugs was dispatched. His response? "Suarez is never a substitute."
3 - The Uruguayan is never too far from controversy, having twice been handed lengthy suspensions for biting an opposing player. Suarez was handed a seven-match ban in November 2010 for sinking his teeth into the shoulder of PSV midfielder Otman Bakkal.
Lightning struck twice as, in April 2013, Suarez again made unwanted headlines when Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic became the second unwitting victim of Suarez and his gnashers. That landed him in hot water once again with the Football Association, who banned the Liverpool forward for 10 matches.
4 - Suarez credits his wife Sofia with helping him avoid landing on the football scrapheap as a youngster.
The Liverpool striker, who struggled mightily with disciplinary problems during his teenage years and was almost released from Nacional when he was 14, admitted meeting Sofia a year later changed his outlook and prompted him to change his approach to the gamee and hone his focus that enabled him to maximise his potential.
When her family relocated to Barcelona, Suarez, desperate not to lose the love of his life, forced his way into the Nacional first team in 2005 before engineering a move to Europe the following year as he signed for Dutch club Groningen.
5 - Suarez is his country`s leading goalscorer with a record 39 goals in 76 caps for La Celeste. The 27-year-old was the leading scorer during South American qualifying for the 2014 World Cup as he found the back of the net on 11 occasions.
Despite his form in the qualifiers, Uruguay laboured to fifth place and were forced to come through a two-legged play-off tie against Jordan in order to reach the finals in Brazil.