Tactical Insights

Luis Suarez’s 501 club goals: His very best for each of his eight clubs

Last weekend, Luis Suarez surpassed 500 career club goals with a 13-minute hat trick that capped off Inter Miami’s 6-2 win over the New York Red Bulls. Suarez’s 501 club goals to date are spread across the eight teams he’s represented over his 19-year career. So which goal stands out as the best from each stop? Our writers offer their picks. 


December 4, 2005
Opponent: Defensor Sporting

In 51 games with boyhood club Nacional de Montevideo, including a brief return in 2022, Suarez scored a total of 20 goals. As a teenager in 2005, Suarez scored 12 memorable goals for Nacional. His repertoire included glancing headers, half volleys, and overhead kicks during his initial stint with the club. Suarez was 18-years-old at the time and quickly became Nacional’s unsung hero during their title-winning season of 2005-2006. His second-ever goal for the club showed the overall skill that he possessed. 

Suarez expertly cushioned a curling ball down to the ground using his left thigh, then aggressively cut back to his right, which left his defender helpless. With the ball now on his favored right foot, Suarez leaned back slightly and nestled his shot towards the opposite post, freezing the goalkeeper. Just an impeccable finish. —Felipe Cardenas  


October 1, 2006
Opponent: Vitesse

When Suarez first arrived in Europe at 19 years old, he spent a single season with Groningen in the Eredivisie. His first two goals for the club came in spectacular fashion — with Groningen trailing Vitesse 3-2 in added time, Suarez scored twice in quick succession to give his side the 4-3 win. The second of those two goals once again showed his exceptional control, pinpoint accuracy and knack for appearing in big moments. 

Suarez went on to score a total of 15 goals in 37 appearances that season, showing enough to earn a move to an Eredivisie power. 


July 28, 2010
Opponent: PAOK Saloniki

This is where it starts to get difficult to pick just one goal. The video above is queued up to what Ajax felt was the best goal Suarez scored in their shirt, but scan back to the beginning of it to see how he emerged as one of the top (and most bitey) young scorers in the world during his four seasons with the Dutch giants. 

The first leg of Ajax’s Champions League third qualifying round tie with PAOK Saloniki gave Suarez the key element of any legendary scorer’s career highlight reel: the signature overhead kick. 


November 4, 2012
Opponent: Newcastle

Not only is this one of the best goals of Suarez’s career, it’s one of the best in Premier League history. How he managed to get the ball from his shoulder to his feet, let alone around the keeper and into the net, is enough to make you watch the video on repeat like a kid trying to figure out how a magician pulled off their best illusion. 


December 7, 2019
Opponent: Real Mallorca

Luis Suarez scored some great goals for FC Barcelona but perhaps the best — or the most incredible to believe that it could end in a goal — came in the 2019-20 season.

In his last season at the club, he decided to treat Barcelona fans to a delicacy in a 5-2 win that also included a hat trick by Lionel Messi and goal from Antoine Griezmann. When the game was 3-1, in the 43rd minute, after a good one-touch combination and one-two between Sergi Roberto and Frenkie De Jong, the Dutchman laid the ball off to Suarez. The Uruguayan had his back to goal and almost without looking, with a back-heel, he scored Barcelona’s fourth.

At the end of the season, FC Barcelona’s via crucis would begin. Watching that goal it seems like it happened in a galaxy far, far away, even though it was only four years and a half ago. —Laia Cervello Herrero

Atletico Madrid

October 2, 2021
Opponent: Barcelona

Suarez really did not want to leave Barcelona in summer 2020, and anger at his former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and ex-Blaugrana coach Ronald Koeman fuelled his performances when he joined Atletico Madrid.

Suarez scored 21 goals in 32 games to fire Atletico to the following season’s La Liga title, including the clincher on the final day of the season at Real Valladolid.

But he still had some unfinished business — and when Barca visited Atletico’s Estadio Metropolitano in October 2021 he was ready.

A typically composed and deadly finish, after super work by Joao Felix and Thomas Lemar, put Atletico 2-0 up over a woeful Barca. —Dermot Corrigan


May 17, 2023
Opponent: Cruzeiro 

Suarez celebrated 29 goals in 54 games with Gremio and earned the Brazilian Serie A player of the year award in 2023. It was a staggering output considering Suarez’s age and declining fitness. Still, the Uruguayan scored in nearly every way possible. 

Against Cruzeiro in the 2023 Copa Do Brasil round of 16, Suarez picked up a pass at the edge of the Cruzeiro penalty area. Suarez controlled the ball with his left foot, which opened up his body. For a second, it looked as if Suarez would look to pass, but instead he unleashed an absolute belter with the outside of his right boot. The ball ricocheted off the post. It was a thunderous trivela from distance that epitomized his time in Brazil. —Cardenas

Inter Miami

March 2, 2024
Opponent: Orlando City

There are still 22 regular season MLS matches to be played for Inter Miami this year, so it’s easy to assume that Suarez will add to his current tally of 10 goals after 12 games. Naturally, Suarez has rekindled his on-field chemistry with Lionel Messi. The two former FC Barcelona stars have accounted for 20 of Inter Miami’s 32 goals to date. 

While Messi and Suarez have linked up often in 2024, Suarez’s best goal so far with Inter Miami was a nearly solo effort that can best be described as vintage Suarez. In the 11th minute of Miami’s third game of the season against Orlando City, Suarez received the ball in the half space and went to work. First, he shrugged off Orlando’s feisty defensive midfielder Wilder Cartagena, tossing the Peruvian to the ground.

The ball clattered off of Cartagena and fell to Inter Miami Julian Gressel, whose one-time flick found Suarez on the run. After a quick control with his right foot, Suarez slammed the ball to the far post with his left. He finished that match with a brace and officially announced his arrival in North America. —Cardenas

(Photo: Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

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