Inter Miami secured the legendary Luis Suarez’s signature to reunite with superstar and eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi as the Herons look toward a hopefully bright 2024 campaign.
Suarez joins the south Florida side on a one-year contract to help bring Miami back to the postseason after missing out in 2023 despite Messi’s late efforts. The squad lacked depth as the season wore on, especially after the Leagues Cup triumph that sealed the Herons’ first-ever qualification to the CONCACAF Champions Cup (formerly known as the Champions League).
Now, Suarez wasn’t necessarily brought in as a depth piece for head coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino. He likely won’t start all 34 regular season games, but he’ll still get to feature from the jump in a fair few games with fellow striker Leo Campana hoping for his fair share of minutes as well.
The 36-year-old goal-scoring machine looks destined to feast upon backlines across the league with his clinical finishing and his exceptional linkup play with the likes of Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.
As of right now, Suarez hasn’t been assigned a jersey number for the upcoming season and he wasn’t shown wearing a specific number in any of Miami’s announcement posts on social media. That will likely be settled in the coming days/weeks, but there are still several other options out there for Suarez if he somehow isn’t able to get his hands on the No. 9 shirt.
Like many fellow pros, Suarez has donned a number of different jersey numbers throughout his impressive and extensive playing career. He was given the number 25 jersey during his first year as a professional in 2004/05 with Club Nacional, his boyhood club in his native Uruguay.
He then grabbed hold of the number 20 after his switch to FC Groningen but eventually moved up the totem pole to snag the number 9 jersey in his one and only season with the Dutch side in 2006/07. After his move to Eredivisie giants Ajax, Suarez then picked up the number 16 jersey as he began to blossom into the menacing striker that scored countless goals in Europe.
Suarez was stuck with the same jersey for a few years up until his blockbuster move to Premier League giants Liverpool, as he took the field in the iconic number 7 from 2010/11 through 2013/14 before making the switch to Barcelona. For the next six seasons in a trophy-laden stint with Barcelona, Suarez was finally able to wear the number 9 shirt for the world to see.
After an emotional departure in 2020, Suarez suited up for La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid, still displaying the number 9 on his back that continued with his homecoming with Nacional and the two previous seasons spent with Gremio in the Brazilian Serie A.
At the international level with Uruguay, Suarez wore the number 18 shirt for two years before being given the number 9, the same number he’s worn since 2007.
A number that might stand out for Suarez at first glance is 17, which was last worn by Josef Martinez, who departed Miami after just one season.
Other available shirt numbers include 12, 13, 20, 21, 23, and 25. As of right now, his preferred 9 is being worn by young striker Campana, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him step aside and give Suarez his favorite number.
However, if Campana decides to not part ways with number 9, then Suarez could perhaps pull a throwback with the number 20 as he wore early on in his career in the Netherlands.
Suerez and Miami have plenty of pre-season friendlies to look forward to, so we should have answer on what he might be wearing on the back of his jersey come January 19 when they clash with the El Salvador national team at DRV PNK Stadium.