Wednesday 21 February 2018

Books: Suarez to take a bite out of the bestsellers

Luis Suarez's Liverpool exit has not been confirmed just yet
Luis Suarez's Liverpool exit has not been confirmed just yet

John Spain

Before he bit his way into the global headlines nearly two weeks ago, Luis Suarez was due to publish his own life story in a couple of months. His book, My Autobiography: El Pistolero, will appear on September 25 and is likely to attract enormous interest around the world. It should take up a huge chunk of the bestseller lists this autumn.

The UK and Irish publisher Headline confirmed this week the book will go ahead despite the FIFA ban following Suarez biting Italian player Chiellini in Uruguay's World Cup match against Italy. Suarez, who will miss the first nine games of the Premier League (or La Liga) season, may have given Liverpool a problem. But his publishers are not phased by the publicity which should make the book a global bestseller. Everything with it was "going ahead as normal", they said.

Breda Purdue, director of Headline in Ireland, said that although most of the 320-page book would be finished by now, it would still be possible to add material. "They would have been waiting anyway to see how Uruguay did in the World Cup, so yes it would be possible to add a chapter or more at this stage," Ms Purdue added.

According to Headline's non-fiction publishing director in the UK, Jonathan Taylor, El Pistolero was already set to cover Suarez's controversial career before the latest biting incident. Suarez's autobiography will be examined for clues that could explain why he behaves the way he does and particularly why he is prone to biting. It will give an intimate picture of Suarez's tough childhood after his father abandoned the family. And it will show how the seven-year-old Suarez started his football on the streets of Montevideo and was so poor he had to play barefoot. That's where he learned the guile of the street kids, which attracted scouts from Dutch team Groningen, before Ajax signed him.

The book will show how he was such a phenomenal goal scorer that he became known as El Pistolero (The Gunslinger) as he terrorised defences. He was a star of the 2010 World Cup, after which he was lured to Merseyside in January 2011. He went on last season to drive a resurgent Liverpool to their best performance in the league in two decades.

The publishers say the book will be controversial, dealing with "his naturally fiery temperament which led to the incident with Patrice Evra of Manchester United and the biting incident with Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic". After the past couple of weeks, that level of controversy is now exponentially higher.

The blurb for the book says: "Here, in his official autobiography, Suarez will talk candidly about the highs and lows of his career and the never-say-die attitude that sometimes makes him go too far."

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