Rayados de Monterrey legend “Chupete” Suazo announced his retirement from professional football back in January 2016, when he was part of his home country’s Colo-Colo. It didn’t last long, as just a year and a half later, he was summoned by San Antonio Unido (Second Division) club president Danilo Rojas. In January 2018, after only six months at the club, he announced his retirement for a second time, as he had plans to coach at an amateur level. Then, a year ago, in July 2019, Suazo announced his return yet again with San Antonio Unido.
After this up-and-down roller coaster ride of retirement indecision, at the age of 39, “Chupete” will make his return to First Division in Chile for the first time in four and a half years. Recently promoted CD La Serena announced his official signing yesterday through their twitter account. The club was founded in 1955. Although head coach Francisco Bozán should be happy with the signing, his team will more than likely be competing to avoid relegation.
Ya lo podemos anunciar!!! Directamente del Planeta Gol a La Serena!!! Llega a nuestro Club Deportes el gran Humberto Suazo!!! Bienvenido querido Chupete que seas muy feliz con nosotros!!! pic.twitter.com/uDPJeO0496— CD La Serena Oficial (@CDLS_OFICIAL) July 17, 2020
Suazo is said to have started training with the club since this past Wednesday, where he appears to be in great shape, having lost weight and looking sharper on the pitch. There is no secret here. At 39 years old and with a recently promoted and limited squad, “Chupete” won’t be in the conversation for a scoring title or leading his team to the championship. In fact, he probably won’t even be in the starting lineup.
What he will do for Bozán and company is bring world-class experience to the team. This is a player who has participated at the highest competitive levels there are, both at club and National Team levels, even having played in the 2010 World Cup. So, there is no doubt La Serena have gotten themselves a world-class caliber player that will mainly bring experience to the team and will for sure help sell tickets and team merch. If anyone thought he will contribute mainly on the pitch, think again. While he may come on as a sub in the final 15-20 minutes of certain games where he might be needed, he can’t be expected to carry any team at the highest competitive level in the country at his age.
But what is certain is knowing that while a player like Suazo is still in playing conditions, and having knowledge of the mere fact that he is still around the sport of soccer that he played so brilliantly and dazzled us countless times with, is a great joy. While we know that super-human, lethal and agile-minded striker we once saw a decade back is now gone, the fact that he can take that knowledge and experience, and pass it on to the younger players he’ll be in contact with is so important, because players like him are the reason fans around the world gather to watch a 90-minute football match. Players like him are why soccer/football is said to be the most beautiful sport in the world.