Luis Suarez dies at 89 as tributes paid to Ballon d'Or winning Barcelona and Inter legend

 The football world is in mourning after former Ballon d'Or winner Luis Suarez, 89, has died following a short battle with illness - and tributes have flooded in for the legend

Luis Suarez dies at 89 as tributes paid to Ballon d'Or winning Barcelona and Inter legend

Ex-Ballon d'Or and Champions League winner Luis Suarez, 89, has died.

Goalscoring midfielder Suarez won the Ballon d'Or in 1960 - beating out the likes of Ferenc Puskas and Alfredo Di Stefano to the title. The Spaniard regarded as one of the best the country has ever produced - spent six years at Barcelona, winning two league titles and leaving in 1961.

After leaving Barca, he was part of the great Inter Milan side that won back-to-back European Cups under the legendary Helenio Herrera. Suarez also wrapped up three Serie A titles during his time in Italy - making more than 300 appearances for Il Grande Inter.

Inter Milan paid a heartfelt tribute to their icon, and they finished it off with the touching statement: "Saying goodbye to Luisito leaves us with a deep melancholy.

"The nostalgia of his perfect and inimitable football, which in fact inspired generations, joins the memory of a unique footballer and a great, great Inter player. We will miss him, because as Helenio Herrera preached, 'If you don't know what to do, give the ball to Suarez'."

A second added: "The only Spanish Ballon D'or winner, Barcelona legend Luis Suárez Miramontes has unfortunately passed away today. May he rest in peace."

"RIP Luis Suárez Miramontes he was one of the best passers ever," a second tweeted. And a third added: "I'm fortunate enough to have been able to admire him. Immensely talented, he was undoubtedly one of the strongest midfielders of all time."

Nicknamed El Arquitecto - The Architect - he made 32 appearances for Spain, scoring 14 goals, and became the world's most expensive footballer and the first £100,000 transfer when he moved from the Nou Camp to the San Siro.

In a statement, Real Madrid said: "Real Madrid wants to express its condolences and affection to its relatives, its teammates, its loved ones and all its clubs... Spanish football and world football mourn their loss. Rest in peace."

While his final professional club, Sampdoria, tweeted a photo of Suarez with the caption: "Ciao Luisito."
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