LUIS SUAREZ celebrated the first birthday of his daughter Delfina last month.
And Liverpool’s Uruguayan striker admits that the responsibilities of fatherhood have helped him mature as a person.
Suarez served a two-month ban for biting an opponent during his spell playing for Ajax last season, and was criticised for comments he made after his deliberate handball against Ghana in the World Cup quarter-finals.
But in the second part of our exclusive photo shoot from his daughter’s first birthday party in Uruguay, Suarez admits he has learned “many” lessons from his first year of fatherhood.
“Before a match, Sofia (his wife) calls me and she passes the phone to Delfina and I give her kisses down the phone.
“These things are so valuable and it’s when you think about how difficult life is and how difficult it is bringing up a child. You remember difficult stuff as a child and you don’t want to pass these things on to your daughter and so for this you value your life today and wanting to be with her 24 hours a day.
“When I go out alone with Sofia, we want to return as soon as possible because we miss her.
“She makes us laugh so much as well. She’s a very sincere child and delightful to be around.
“I think that she felt that everyone was watching her, there were a lot of photos, everyone was around her so she certainly knew that she was the main event. She enjoyed herself and played a lot. She didn’t want to go to bed because she could see that the party was still going on. The important thing is that she enjoyed every moment. I think that it is something she will never forget.”
Suarez helped stage the birthday bash just days after his team-mates celebrated their historic Copa America success against Paraguay, with the Reds striker chosen as man of the match.
Suarez played down his personal achievement, though.
“You value the group more than the individual,” he explained. “But it was well received being recognised for the good football.
“As the days pass, you remember the euphoria coming from the crowds and then you realise that as a team we have achieved everything we always dreamed about before we started the cup matches.
“We always knew exactly what our objective was and knew that we had to work together as a team both on and off the pitch.
“It’s a spectacular team, no player believes in themselves any more than each other and this is worth a lot to the team and the fans see this. Everything that we win on an individual level becomes a source of immense pride as a team. It shows that you can win if you have discipline and thanks to this Uruguay looks great to the rest of the world.”