Liverpool v Atletico Madrid: How Luis Suarez became one of Europe's best strikers

Many Liverpool fans consider Luis Suarez to be the club’s greatest striker in the Premier League. However, he will return to Anfield on Wednesday night to help Atletico Madrid win the Champions League.
Mohamed Salah's brilliance is evident, but the Kop also know that a Suarez in good form can still inflict serious damage to any side.

With 69 goals in 110 matches between 2011-14, he is the Reds' fifth-highest scoring forward. At 34 years old, he shows no signs of slowing down and has scored eight goals for Atletico this season.

It doesn't take much to remind people of the Uruguay striker's remarkable career. He has won six top-flight titles and a Champions League trophy. He also received four Copa Del Reys while he was in Europe, which included spells at Groningen and Ajax.

There have been many controversies. He punched the ball off the line in Ghana's 2010 World Cup quarterfinal defeat to Uruguay, biting three of his opponents and was banned for eight matches for racially abusing Patrice Elvra.

BBC Sport, which was nominated for the Ballon d'Or again this year, takes a look at Suarez's humble beginnings and how a love story helped him to become one of Europe's most revered strikers over the past 15 years.

"Luis said he would play in Barcelona,"

Suarez played youth football for Nacional in Montevideo

Born in Salto (the second most populous city in Uruguay), where Edinson Cavani, Manchester United's Manchester United's player, was born 21 days later. Suarez was raised in a large family that had little money. Sandra, his mother, once said that they couldn't afford football boots for him.

Suarez, seven years old, moved to Uruguay's capital Montevideo along with his six brothers. He played youth football at Urreta and then switched to Nacional when he was 14.

After impressing in the youth ranks, he was promoted to the first team and made his debut against Junior of Colombia in Copa Libertadores in May 2005. But things didn't go according to plan.

He didn't reach his first goal for four months, and he missed so many opportunities that his fans used to mock him.

Martin Lasarte, Nacional's former manager, said to BBC Sport that Luis' character was crucial for all the months that he didn't score. For Nacional Suarez was the most promising youth player, but he needed to be selected for the first team because Bruno Fornaroli (fan favourite) and Martin Cauteruccio were his favorites.

"I went for a walk with him after training and told him that he would be sitting on the bench in his next match. I can remember Luis getting so mad at me. He didn't get it, but instead depressed and furious, he did his own double training.

"I still remember Luis telling me one day that he was going for Barcelona in the future. He wouldn't give up until he achieved it." Barcelona was a impossible dream back then, but history has shown that he achieved it.

"He was an animal who wanted more and more."

Suarez's positive mentality helped him get through difficult times as a young striker

Lasarte believed in himself and Suarez's mental strength. The striker persevered, scoring 10 goals in 27 matches to win the Uruguayan title.

Sebastian Abreu (ex-Nacional and Uruguay team-mate) said that Suarez used to joke with Lasarte about how he had to play Suarez in every match. When Luis was in the 11 strikers, the rest had to sit on the bench or take part in the remainder of the tournament.

He was like a young boy who had a lion mentality. Luis had a winning mentality. He trained to win at every sport he played. He came to me one day and said, "I know you all are ahead of me in the team, but I will beat them all."

He used difficult situations to motivate him to succeed - nothing was too hard for him in those days. He was never proud of his skills in training. He trained secretly many times without our knowledge and became the greatest striker in Uruguay.

Mathias Cardacio was a friend of Suarez and played in Nacional's youth team and first team. He remembers how they used arrive at training an hour earlier than usual.

He stated that he was in Nacional youth and trained at 6pm. But he looked for him at 5pm so if he arrived early to the training ground, a shot or penalty could be taken before anyone else. Luis was determined to improve his skills. He was determined to win at everything.

"I can still remember playing Huracan for Nacional's youth team. We won 18-0 with Suarez scoring 11 goals. He was an animal who couldn't stop wanting more.

He wanted to win every competition, no matter if it was in football or cards. Since he was a child, he had always been competitive in his life.

Since the age 13 Suarez has been a part of Sofia.

"He always thought of Sofia."

Suarez's goals scored him a move to Groningen, the Dutch top-flight team in 2006. His 10 goals in 29 league matches earned him a debut for Uruguay.

After scoring 111 goals in 159 matches for Amsterdam, he moved to Liverpool in 2011 for 22.7 million. He then went on to Barcelona and Atletico.

Bruno Silva, a former Groningen teammate and fellow Uruguayan, says that Suarez's decision to move to Europe out of love rather than a desire for a better professional career.

Sofia, his 13-year-old girlfriend, was married to him when he moved to Barcelona to be with his family.

Silva stated that Silva came to Europe because he wanted to be near Sofia, his wife who lives in Barcelona. He was determined and played like someone who has the desire to reach the top quickly.

Diego Forlan, who won the 2010 World Cup Golden Boot added: "In both the World Cup 2010 and Copa America 2011, where we won championship, we saw an exceptional version of Suarez in every training session. He wanted to win, the best.

"He can get in a bad mood when he loses a simple match. That is Suarez. He has the hunger to win.

"Every time Suarez fell with something, he had Sofia to help him up. He had the motivation to never disappoint his family. He had Sofia to support him through all the bad things that have happened to Luis.