FORMER BARCELONA and Liverpool star Luis Suarez announced on Tuesday that he has reached “a preliminary agreement” to return to his first club Nacional for three months ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.
Striker Suarez, 35, left Atletico Madrid at the end of last season and is looking for a new club.
He is Uruguay’s all-time top scorer and is set to play in his fourth World Cup.
“First of all, I would like to say thank you for the great affection shown to me and my family over the past few days,” Suarez said in a video posted to his social media accounts.
He said that made it impossible ‘to reject the possibility of returning to play for Nacional and we have a preliminary agreement with the club’.
Nacional president Jose Fuentes thanked the fans who launched a massive social media campaign to try and convince Suarez to return.
“We still have to adjust a few small details… (but) he will surely arrive next week,” Fuentes said.
Suarez started his career at Nacional, making his debut aged 18 in May 2005.
After a full season he moved to Groningen in the Netherlands and then to Ajax a year later.
There he caught the eye of Liverpool and after three and a half seasons in England he moved to Barcelona for a fee of over €80m.
He enjoyed his most successful spell in Catalonia, winning four Spanish league titles and the Champions League in 2015, while winning La Liga again with Atletico in 2021.
He rose to prominence at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when his last illegal goal clearance in the quarter-finals against Ghana prevented the Black Stars from becoming the first African nation to reach the last four of the tournament.
Suarez was sent off for a deliberate handball but Uruguay survived the ensuing kick and then progressed on penalties.
Four years later, in Brazil, he disgraced himself by biting Italian Giorgio Chiellini, for which he received a record nine-match ban from world football governing body FIFA – it was the third time he had he was biting an opposing player.
He is due to sign a three-month contract with Nacional to play in Uruguay’s Clausura competition while preparing for the World Cup in Qatar from February 21 to December 18.
“The details will be finalized in the next few hours and we hope to reach the agreement that we all want and that we can all make the most of this new stage and see each other in the coming days,” Suarez added.