Punta del Este, Uruguay — Uruguayan soccer star Luis Suárez, who is currently playing for local team Nacional, spoke at a business forum in Punta del Este on Friday, and where he explained how he manages the business that is his brand.
The former Barcelona, Liverpool and Atlético Madrid forward said he tries to surround himself with people he can trust when it comes to managing his brand, and which also involves taking care of his image to the extreme.
Suárez said that managing his personal brand “is quite complex”, and that he only learned to get know how to manage it over the years, and which implied transmitting certain values that are important to him.
“You have to convince yourself that you can go a long way, and then surround yourself with good people who don’t celebrate all the bad things. There are many things that are bad, and the people around you celebrate them. Why? Because you are doing well, you have a little more money, but not everything is good,” Suárez said.
“The soccer player thinks he is always right, and he is not always right. That’s the image we have to take care of, and there are people on the side who help you,” he added.
The soccer star, who will play for Uruguay in the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup in November, also talked about how people sometimes approach him in search of striking up business deals.
“There are times when they approach you out of interest. And you say, ‘how strange, why did that guy approach me?’ There you see that he has business in such and such a place and that he is going to approach from there. You start to realize it. I try to associate with my own [people], to grow my bubble,” Suárez said.
About taking care of his image, he also pointed out that, for example, on occasions when he has to challenge one of his children in a public place, it makes him think about the way he will do it.
He also said that he will continue to consider protesting on the soccer pitch, because that is part of how he is.
The lucrative return to Nacional
Suárez’s return to Nacional revolutionized Uruguayan soccer, opening up an unprecedented commercial opportunity for both him and the team. Suárez capped his salary at around $30,000 so as not to earn more than other players at the club and agreed with the club to receive a share of shirt sales and other income generated by his presence, although precise details of that agreement have not been revealed.
Since his return to Nacional, the club has sold around 6,000 Suárez shirts, and welcomed some 4,000 new members to the club, and which will have brought in around $720,000 and $800,000 respectively to the club’s coffers.
In Uruguay, Suárez has developed a sports academy, located some 30 minutes from Montevideo, and plans to expand it, and where he values the daily work of people he trusts to carry out the initiative.
In Uruguay, Suárez has developed a sports academy, located just outside Montevideo, and plans to expand it, and he said he values the daily work of people he trusts to carry out the initiative.
Messi, Neymar and Suárez’s last World Cup
Suárez also talked about his bond with Argentine player Lionel Messi and Brazil’s Neymar, with whom he played at FC Barcelona, and where, he said, the coexistence between the superstars was “a demonstration” that they had a common goal, which was the team’s triumph.
“At the beginning, people told me: ‘Why do you give it all to them? Why don’t you try to score goals like you did at Liverpool?’ They saw that I went to play, and wanted to win, and they saw that I went to compete healthily, and then the next year they awarded me the golden boot. It was a demonstration that the three of us, despite being at a great moment, had nothing to envy in each other because we were teammates who wanted good results for Barcelona,” Suárez said.
The Uruguayan striker said that he is going to Qatar 2022 “with the conviction of wanting to go and put on a good show”, while admitting that, while he is no longer the same player as he was in the 2014 World Cup and during his Barcelona era, the desire to win will never leave him.