Óscar David Suazo Velázquez (born 5 November 1979) is a retired Honduran professional footballer turned coach who played as a striker. Suazo played more than 300 league games and scored over 100 league goals in Italy during a span of 13 years.
Suazo training for Catania in 2011
|Full name||Óscar David Suazo Velázquez|
|Date of birth||5 November 1979|
|Place of birth||San Pedro Sula, Honduras|
|Height||1.82 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)|
|2008–2009||→ Benfica (loan)||12||(4)|
|2010–2011||→ Genoa (loan)||16||(3)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Nicknamed La Pantera (The Panther) or El Rey David (The King David), Suazo was born in San Pedro Sula. In his early career, he developed alongside his cousin, Maynor Suazo, who also went on to play for the Honduran national team. Suazo took his first steps at Olimpia Reserves and later went on to play at the Liga Bancaria. After his participation in 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship, he was acquired by domestic club team Olimpia. He continued to impress playing for Olimpia's youth system under the coaching of the late Angel Ramón Paz ("Mon Paz") and earned a spot on the top squad before turning 20 years old.
Óscar Tabárez, then-coach of Italian side Cagliari, was impressed by Suazo's performance and did not hesitate in bringing him to Europe, for US$2 million transfer fee and US$200,000 tax to National Autonomous Federation of Football of Honduras, as well as 15–20% of the future capital gain if Cagliari sold the player above the US$2.2M price tag. Suazo officially joined the club ahead of the 1999–2000 Serie A season. In his first year with the team, he scored one goal in 13 league appearances, and at the end of the 1999–2000 season, Cagliari were relegated to Serie B, where they would remain until the 2003–04 season. In four years in Serie B, Suazo played 113 matches and scored 40 goals for the club. His scoring efficiency was impressive enough for him to earn the nickname La Pantera (the Panther). Suazo's time in Serie B provided him with great experience which would help ease his transition into more difficult competition at the top of the Italian Lega Calcio.
In the 2004–05 Serie A season, Suazo scored seven goals in 22 matches in a 4–3–3 scheme in which he performed as a reserve behind Gianfranco Zola, Mauro Esposito and Antonio Langella. Suazo's scoring proved vital in helping Cagliari avoid relegation and impressed top clubs across Europe, despite only scoring six goals. In 2006, he became a starter for Cagliari and scored 22 goals in Serie A. For his play that season, Suazo was honoured with the Serie A Foreign Footballer of the Year, which he shared with Milan's Kaká. In 2007, Suazo continued his great play for Cagliari, where he scored 18 more goals in the Serie A and helped save Cagliari from another relegation to Serie B. During his spell with Cagliari, Suazo was known for his attacking partnership with both Langella and Esposito.
On 13 June 2007, reports arose that Suazo had agreed terms with Serie A champions Internazionale. Six days later, however, crosstown rivals and reigning European champions Milan announced that they themselves had acquired Suazo. While Milan claimed they had successfully negotiated with Cagliari, the deal with Inter was confirmed by Cagliari chairman Massimo Cellino. Meanwhile, one of Suazo's agents, Carlo Pallavicino, added to the confusion by saying, "Suazo has not had any contact with Milan and he still has not given his consent to the transfer." It was later announced that Suazo was confirmed with Inter on 26 June for €14 million fee (with about US$2.5 million was required to pay by Cagliari to Olimpia) after Milan officially withdrew their contract offer. Since Suazo himself wanted to keep his initial agreement with Inter. "It was an issue of respect. The Rossoneri (nickname of Milan) understood that I had a promise with coach Roberto Mancini, Marco Branca and chairman Massimo Moratti." He scored his first Inter goal against Genoa and scored a total of eight goals throughout his first season with the Nerazzurri (the nickname of Inter).
After a less-than-impressive first season with Inter, Suazo was loaned to Portuguese club Benfica for the 2008–09 season. Suazo however, appeared in just 12 league matches and scored just four goals during the season. Following his return to Inter in June 2009, he was given limited squad space and failed to make any starts for his club.
On 29 December 2009 it was confirmed that Suazo had been authorized to play friendly match for Genoa, two days before the opening of the winter transfer window. After the opening of the transfer window, Suazo officially joined Genoa on a six-month loan deal, where he replaced Sergio Floccari, who was transferred to Lazio on 4 January. This was part of a deal that completed a three-way, three-man swap in which Inter also received Goran Pandev from Lazio on free transfer.
Suazo made his debut for Genoa against Milan in a losing effort, appearing on the scoresheet in the process. He scored the second goal for Genoa and was eventually substituted in the 80th minute for Hernán Crespo. His loan with Genoa proved to be highly unsuccessful, as the player scored a mere 2 goals in 16 Serie A appearances.
Return to InterEdit
After his Genoa loan expired, Suazo returned to Inter but, in part because of a long-term injury, he was not included in the first-team, thus failing to make a single appearance in the entire 2010–11 season. Suazo's contract with Inter expired on 30 June 2011, leaving the player without a contract. Since then, he was linked with a comeback at Cagliari following a trial period. This was a possibility that was later confirmed by club chairman Massimo Cellino, who, on 13 July 2011, confirmed Suazo's return to Sardinia by the end of the transfer window, and defined his signing as "a cherry on the pie". The transfer, however, collapsed after Suazo was asked to leave Cagliari's pre-season camp after Cellino opted against the move and changed his decision about the transfer.
On 12 August 2011, Suazo signed for Catania on a one-year deal. He was officially presented on the same day alongside new arrivals Mario Paglialunga and Davide Lanzafame. Suazo was assigned the number 9 jersey, though only would make six appearances during his time in Sicily, which ended upon the expiration of his contract on 30 June 2012.
On 27 March 2013, at the age of 33, he announced his retirement from football, due to his persisting struggles with knee injuries.
Suazo played for the Honduras national under-20 football team at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship. He made his senior debut for Honduras in a May 1999 friendly match against Haiti and has earned a total of 57 caps, scoring 17 goals. He has represented his country in 30 FIFA World Cup qualification matches and at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He also played at the 2000 Summer Olympics and at the 2003 UNCAF Nations Cup as well as at the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He also played a few minutes of Honduras' first match at the 2001 Copa América.
Post-playing and coaching careerEdit
Following his retirement as a player, Suazo was hired by his former team Cagliari as a scout. In 2014, he joined the first team coaching staff as an assistant to Ivo Pulga for the final part of the season; he successively was appointed to the same role by the end of the 2014–15 season, supporting new head coach Gianluca Festa.
For the 2015–16 season, he was named new youth team coach for the Giovanissimi Nazionali.
On 5 June 2018 he was appointed manager of Serie B side Brescia by Massimo Cellino, former chairman of his while at Cagliari. He was however sacked on 18 September 2018 after a negative start to the new season.
Style of playEdit
A quick and physically strong striker, Suazo is considered to be one of the greatest players Honduras has ever produced. His main characteristic as a forward was his incredible speed, both on and off the ball, which made him arguably one of the fastest Serie A players of his time. His pace and acceleration made him a dangerous offensive threat on counter-attacks and allowed him to create space and provide depth to his team with his runs from behind. In spite of his ability, however, he was often injury prone throughout his career. He also possessed notable determination and great leadership skills on the pitch, serving as Cagliari's captain. Suazo also took several penalties and occasionally scored from free kicks.
David's brothers are Nicolás and Ruben Suazo. Former internationals Maynor Suazo and Hendry Thomas are his cousins. He holds Italian nationality due to his marriage to an Italian woman, Elisa Secchi, in 2005. They have two sons, David Edoardo and Luis Gabriel.
|Honduras||League||Honduran Cup||North America||Total|
|2008–09||Benfica (loan)||Portuguese Liga||12||4||-||-||4||1||16||5|
|2009–10||Genoa (loan)||Serie A||16||3||-||-||-||-||16||3|
- Serie A: 2007–08, 2009–10
- Supercoppa Italiana: 2010
- Coppa Italia: 2009–10
- UEFA Champions League: 2009–10
- "David Suazo: una pantera si aggira per la Serie A" (in Italian). CalcioNews24.com. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
- "David Suazo, the black-and-blue panther". FIFA.com. 10 July 2007.
- "Arbitration CAS 2010/A/2193 Club Cagliari Calcio S.p.A. v. Club Olimpia Deportivo, award of 15 September 2011" (PDF). Court of Arbitration for Sport. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- "Inter, AC fight over Suazo". Setanta Sport. 19 June 2007. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
- "Milan confirm Suazo swoop". Football Italia. 19 June 2007. Archived from the original on 22 June 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
- "Suazo mystery deepens!". Football Italia. 19 June 2007. Archived from the original on 22 June 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
- "AC Milan cool Eto'o interest as row erupts over Suazo". Soccerway.com. AFP. 19 June 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
- "Both Milan clubs claim Suazo deal". CNN. 22 June 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2007.[dead link]
- FC Internazionale Milano 2006–07 Bilancio (Report and Accounts), PDF purchased in Italian CCIAA (in Italian)
- "David Suazo joins Inter" (Press release). F.C. Internazionale Milano. 26 June 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- "Official Milan Release Suazo". Football Italia. 23 June 2007. Archived from the original on 26 June 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- "Suazo Thanks Milan For "Understanding"". Goal.com. 25 June 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2007.
- "DAVID SUAZO ARRIVING AT THE SIGNORINI". Genoa C.F.C. 29 December 2009. Archived from the original on 14 December 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
- "Inter reach agreement with Genoa over Suazo". inter.it. 29 December 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- "Cellino annuncia Suazo "Ciliegina sulla torta"" [Cellino announces Suazo "Cherry on the pie"] (in Italian). La Repubblica. 13 July 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
- "Suazo cambia isola: al Catania fino al 30 giugno 2012" (in Italian). Sky.it. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
- JAVIER ESTEPA (29 March 2013). "El adiós de 'La Pantera' Suazo" (in Spanish). Marca. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
- David Suazo – FIFA competition record
- Qualifying Tournament for Gold Cup 2003 - Details Archived 17 January 2010 at WebCite - RSSSF
- CONCACAF Championship, Gold Cup 2003 - Full Details Archived 24 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine - RSSSF
- Copa América 2001 Archived 19 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine - RSSSF
- "Canada 0-0 Honduras". ESPN FC. 12 June 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
- "Comunicato ufficiale" (in Italian). Brescia Calcio. 18 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
- MARCO PIATTI (11 August 2011). "L'ultima idea per l'attacco è Suazo" (in Italian). La Stampa. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
- Enrico Sisti (5 April 2014). "Valencia e il fascino dello scatto" (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
- Ed Vulliamy (16 October 2004). "Messina turn Italian football on its head". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
- "Mourinho rilancia Suazo Eto'o resta a casa" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 16 October 2009. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
- "David Suazo: It's no fun being a fan". FIFA.com. 9 September 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
- Matteo Sechi (16 October 2011). "Quella volta andò così - Cagliari - Siena 1-0, la notte che si abbandonò l'inferno" (in Italian). Tutto Cagliari. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
- "Io, Suazo, tra matrimonio calcio e la morte del Papa" (in Italian). L'Unione Sarda. 4 April 2005. Retrieved 11 February 2011.[dead link]