June 17, 2024

Luis Suárez, former Barcelona Balondor winner dies at 88

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The former Barcelona and Internazionale midfielder Luis Suárez, the only Spanish-born men’s footballer to have won the Ballon d’Or, has died at the age of 88, the two clubs confirmed on Sunday.

“Luis Suárez Miramontes died this Sunday in Milan at the age of 88,” Barcelona said in a statement. “Affectionately known as ‘Luisito’, he is considered by everyone to be one of the best players in the history of Spanish football, as well as being a key part of Barca in the second half of the 1950s.”

Suárez, who joined Barcelona in 1955, won the Ballon d’Or after claiming a league and cup double with the Catalan club in 1959. He also won 32 caps for Spain and was part of the squad that won the European Championship in 1964.

After retiring from playing in 1973, Suárez went on to manage Inter, Deportivo La Corua, Cagliari, and Spal. He also took charge of Spain’s national team between 1988 and 1991, leading them to the last 16 of the 1990 World Cup.

Suárez joined Inter in 1961, winning three Serie A titles, two European Cups, and two Intercontinental Cups during his nine years in Milan. “Saying goodbye to Luisito leaves us with a profound sadness: nostalgia for his perfect and incomparable football, which inspired generations, is combined with the memory of a unique footballer and a great, great Inter player,” Inter said in a statement. “We will miss him, because as [former Inter manager] Helenio Herrera preached, ‘If you don’t know what to do, give the ball to Suárez’.”

 

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