Luis Suarez has confirmed he will not be returning to Europe, ending any idea of a return to Liverpool.
The Reds were one of five clubs he represented on the continent, having made the move from Uruguay as a youngster. Now, at 35, the forward has decided to return to his homeland with Nacional, the club where he began his career, after leaving Atletico Madrid.
Suarez was free to pick his next destination after his contract with the Spanish capital came to an end and there was talk of a surprise return to Liverpool, the club he left in 2014.
The Reds are struggling this term and a fresh injection may have been welcome, but the player has called time on his European venture.
He told Marca when asked if his time in Europe was over: “Yes because I already did my European career and I left there very proud.
I had many options, many, before coming to Nacional, but the meaning of coming to my country was also that: Groningen, Ajax, Liverpool, Barca, Atletico… What better career than that in Europe?
“For this reason, he could not finish, after Atletico, in another inferior team.
That trajectory was perfect. I would have lowered the level and that’s how I ended up at the highest level: Atletico. Hence, it made sense to come to Uruguay, not because it is a minor league, but to close a circle.”
It was Dutch side Groningen who first bought Suarez to Europe, but his impressive first season saw domestic giants Ajax come knocking. In Amsterdam, he was a huge hit.
Liverpool would capture his signature in January 2011 and Suarez scored on his debut in front of the Kop.
His final season on Merseyside goes down as one of the greatest single-season efforts in Premier League history.
He scored 31 times in 33 games and won the Player of the Year award, but couldn’t fire Liverpool to the title as they fell two points short in agonising fashion.
Suarez has previously said on a move back to Liverpool: “You never know in football what the future holds but if I ever play in England again I will play for the Liverpool team and not another team.
It’s great to come back to Anfield.”
Barcelona’s interest saw Suarez leave Liverpool in 2014, paying over £60m to capture the forward.
In his first season, the Uruguayan helped the Catalans claim the treble, scoring in the Champions League final. He would remain in Spain with Atletico, where he won LaLiga in his first season.