Luis Suárez – the Spanish connection

The First Luis Suárez

The first Luis Suárez

The first Luis Suárez

The first Luis Suárez was born in my home town of La Coruña (Spain) and played for Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña, Barcelona and Inter Milan. He also played for the Spanish national side and was part of the squad that played in the 1966 World Cup in England, Spain came as European champions, a trophy they won in 1964 for the first time.

Before all this, Luis Suárez played for a street youth club called Alameda, the name came from Calle Alameda in the centre of La Coruña. My uncle Manolo Varela played in the same team with the first Luis Suárez and had a picture of the team with both in it, which he showed me. My other uncle used to take me to football when I was young and we always stopped in a bar in Calle Alameda before the match where much discussion took place.

This Luis Suárez is the only Spanish player to have won the The Ballon d’Or (“Golden Ball”) often referred to as the European Footballer of the Year award in those days. It is now known as FIFA Ballon d’Or.  He also managed the Spanish national team.


The Second Luis Suárez


The second Luis Suárez is probably the one you will know best today. He was born in Uruguay, plays for his National side and plays for Liverpool FC. You have probably read much about him in the press and have formed an opinion of what he is like, but as they say, you can’t believe everything you read in the papers.

Following the family tradition, I was privileged to meet the second Luis Suárez, spending a few days in a confined environment from early morning to late evening with him and others. When I met him for the first time, I sat next to him in a meeting room at Liverpool’s training ground, Melwood. During our brief introduction and conversation, I was initially interested in Luis Suárez the person and not the football player, so I talked about his family, he showed me a picture of his little girl and his face told me he was a very proud father. You see it helps to understand and convey context when interpreting.

During all the time I was assigned to work with Luis I found he was easy to get on with, pleasant and kind. He always dressed well, arrived on time, and on the last day of working with Luis, and to my pleasant surprise, he thanked me with a card addressed to myself and my family. I was very touched by this gesture, and hold it as an important reminder of the crucial role an interpreter plays in facilitating honest conversations between others. When I later briefly met his wife I found her to be very nice and pleasant too, and as a family man myself I could clearly see they were a match.

I think the moral of the story is to show how language services, like interpreting Spanish, can bring such a funny old world closer. I met Luis Suárez, I found him to be a nice person and I like him. We shouldn’t believe everything we read in the press!

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