Born under the sign of Virgo on 28 August 2010, in Barcelona, Spain, Delfina Suarez is a 13-year-old Latin-American child. She derives all of her fame from being the only daughter of one of the world’s most accomplished football/soccer players in the sport’s history. Her much less famous mother adds slight contribution to that as well, through her own entrepreneurial ventures.

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Early life & education: Growing up in the spotlight

Although showered with attention wherever he goes, Luis is a dedicated husband and family man who keeps his private life to himself, as much as that is possible at least. As a result, it’s not very clear where and how Delfina is being raised, although fans believe that she either follows her father around as he relocates to play for another team – Inter Miami, Florida as of early-2024 – or stays with her mother in her birth home. Naturally, she spends most of her time with both parents, since they have a fairly stable and loving marriage. Delfina’s infrequent social media posts reveal that she has a deep love for horses and other animals, as well as deep reverence for her father’s legacy.

Although she doesn’t really want to be a footballer herself, Delfina seems to find great inspiration in Luis’ achievements. Her two younger brothers also mean she gets to bear some responsibility for them, of whom Benjamin was born in 2013, and Lautaro in 2018. Both of the boys appear to already be aspiring football players themselves, though the trend still hasn’t caught onto Delfina, and is evidently unlikely to. She is set to attend a local high school in an as-of-yet unknown location, though the fans believe it’s probably her birthplace, from where she is set to matriculate in 2028.

Who is her mother?

Born under the sign of Libra on 11 October 1989, in Montevideo, Uruguay, Sofia Balbi is a 34-year-old Latin-American businesswoman and entrepreneur, though her particular professional engagements remain unknown. Sofia was born into an affluent family, unlike her future husband, who had to work hard in order to eat starting with his early teenage years. In spite of having everything she wished for, Balbi remained relatively down-to-earth, and didn’t judge those living in abject poverty all around her, of whom Suarez was a prime example.

What is their love story?

Unlike most football players’ love stories, that of Luis and Sofia stretches almost an entire lifetime, as they were by all accounts lucky enough to have found a soulmate in one another very early on. As written in ESPN’s rather lengthy portrait story on Suarez, his life began in the challenging streets of his impoverished upbringing. Raised by a hardworking mother, Suarez faced financial troubles that extended to his dreams of playing football so as to ensure a livelihood. The absence of a father figure also left a void, leading him down a troubled path during his teenage years. His coach, determined to rescue the talented but wayward young player, would often drag him from home to the football field.

Then at the age of 15, a ray of hope entered Suarez’s life in the form of Sofia Balbi. With blond hair and fair skin, she became more than a love interest – his anchor in reality. Despite Suarez’s job as a street sweeper and the meager resources at his disposal, he collected coins during his shifts to take Sofia out. Her family, unlike his own, embraced him, offering a sense of belonging and security he hadn’t known.

However, fate dealt a harsh blow when her family all moved to Spain in 2003, as he didn’t have the resources to follow them. The separation plunged Suarez into a dark period, seeing as his newfound family and muse were gone, and his commitment to football wavered. Yet, it was exactly then that he became as determined as ever to realize a seemingly ludicrous plan: he would dedicate himself to football, work tirelessly, and become good enough to earn a spot on a European team, thereby at least moving to Sofia’s continent.

The plan worked against all odds, and Suarez secured a chance with the small Dutch team Groningen in 2006, marking the beginning of his ascent in the football world. Successive moves to clubs Ajax and Liverpool followed, propelling him to stardom. He married Sofia in 2009, and their family grew with the arrival of three children. Ever since then, Suarez’s house has echoed with laughter and the joyful chaos of children playing, all thanks to football.

Suarez’s extreme professional mindset

It’s long been known that some of the player’s irrational actions on the football field are hard to explain even by his friends, mentors and colleagues. The prevailing theory suggests that any threat to his ability to score is not processed as a sportsman’s challenge, but rather an act of aggression against his family. Suarez, it seems, responds to defenders not as opponents vying for the ball but as adversaries trying to strip away the stability he found in his wife and children. The quest to understand Suarez apparently takes an unexpected turn when Sofia emerges as the key to decoding his enigma. One example of the opposite situation was when, following a goal, Suarez revealed a homemade T-shirt under his jersey, celebrating the birth of his son, Benjamin. The shirt depicted a picture of his family, and the words “Welcome Benja” expressed his love for them – a far cry from the turbulent times in the early days of his career.

In a crucial championship match for Nacional in Uruguay, Suarez faced an unfavorable officiating decision, which some of the fans at the time saw as completely unjust, and this included the player. Frustration mounted as a yellow card and subsequent red card meant he would miss the next game – the last of his youth. The red card not only stripped him of the chance to break a goal-scoring record, but also separated him from the team that had become his family. The incident, fueled by rage and a sense of abandonment, marked a turning point in Suarez’s life.  Seeing as Sofia had moved to Barcelona in October 2003, just a month before the referee incident, it became clear that the eruption of violence was not an accident, but more of a lashing out against his unfortunate circumstances.

The time he bit someone

Although any kind of heading stating that a football player bit someone can be disregarded as blatant misinformation, this event did actually take place in Suarez’s case. Accused of racism, labeled a cheat, and banned three times for biting opponents, Luis’ reputation is a rather complex mosaic. Yet, on the field, he shines as one of the sport’s greatest goal-scorers. The paradox of Suarez is encapsulated in his various nicknames—the ‘S’ in “MSN,” part of Barcelona’s iconic trio, and El Pistolero, an ode to his lethal goal celebrations resembling firing imaginary guns.

The narrative of his life began to take a dark turn in 2010, when Suarez earned the moniker ‘Cannibal of Ajax’ during his captaincy at the club. Inexplicably biting Phillips Sport Vereniging (PSV)Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal on the shoulder, Suarez escaped immediate punishment but faced a subsequent suspension. His prolific goal-scoring at Ajax caught Liverpool’s attention, leading to a transfer despite the biting incident. Controversy followed Suarez to the Premier League, where he was accused of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra. Despite maintaining innocence, Suarez received an eight-match ban.

His eventful tenure at Liverpool climaxed with another biting incident, this time involving Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, resulting in a 10-game ban. Finally, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil witnessed a pivotal moment when Suarez bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, leading to a nine-game suspension and a four-month ban from all soccer activities. The tooth marks on Chiellini’s shoulder and the shocking repetition of biting incidents left the football world in disbelief.

His so-called ‘racist’ comments

In the aftermath of the racial controversy with fellow footballer Patrice Evra, Suarez grappled with the misinterpretation of his words and the enduring stain of being labeled a racist. The intricacies of language, specifically the translation from Spanish to English, made it virtually impossible for non-Spanish speakers to understand how differently the word was perceived in Latin America. Suarez emphasized that he never used the hard-r term, but rather asked Evra, ‘Por qué, negro?’ meaning ‘Why, black?’ The benign intent behind the question was lost in translation, as it was transformed into the more offensive accusation, ‘Because you are black.’

Despite Luis’ attempts to clarify the situation, the initial accusation set the tone, with Evra asserting that his colleague used the n-word five times. Suarez contended that Evra’s limited proficiency in his native tongue contributed to the misunderstanding, as the heated argument on the pitch, fueled by basic Spanish, further complicated the communication. Suarez expressed bewilderment at the lack of confrontation in the tunnel if his words were truly offensive, questioning why Evra didn’t seek immediate clarification.

The word ‘racist’ from then on became inseparable from his name, leaving an indelible mark on his reputation. The footballer grappled with the pain of the accusation, reflecting on the hurtful impact it had on him, his family, and his legacy. The ensuing hearing became a harrowing experience for him, marked by isolation, confusion, and a perceived lack of effective defense. Regardless of his club’s support and attorney Kenny Dalglish’s defense, Suarez emerged from the hearing with an eight-game ban and a lifelong association with the label of a racist. The incident also strained Suarez’s relationship with Evra, with any chance of reconciliation dashed by subsequent events. Luis underscored that Liverpool defended him not solely for his football prowess but because they knew him intimately, attesting to his character within the dressing room, with his family, and beyond the pitch.

Net worth: How rich is Luis Suarez?

Some of the most reputable media sources on the matter have estimated that Suarez’s total accumulated wealth stands at more than $80 million. He had made this towering sum through sheer effort, capability and originality as a football player, from highly lucrative deals with the clubs that he played for. As of late 2023, he’s signed to Florida USA’s Inter Miami, and doesn’t appear to have any plans to change his employer. Finally, it can be said without a doubt that Delfina and her two brothers enjoy a life of potentially unimaginable opulence, thanks to their father’s incredible skill with the football.

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