Football: Luis Suarez returns to boyhood Uruguayan club Nacional

Luis Suarez enjoyed his most successful spell at Barcelona, winning four league titles and the Champions League. PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Former Liverpool and Barcelona forward Luis Suarez has re-joined Uruguayan team Nacional on a free transfer, returning to the Montevideo-based club after 16 years in Europe.

The 35-year-old, who left La Liga side Atletico Madrid at the end of last season, said on social media on Tuesday (July 26) he had reached a pre-contract agreement with Nacional, where he started his professional career in 2005.

"Proud to wear my shirt again at @Nacional," Suarez wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

"Thank you all for the support! See you soon."

Nacional later confirmed Suarez's return to the club but did not disclose financial details nor the length of the contract.

"Happy to have you at home," the club's Twitter account replied to Suarez's tweet.

Suarez moved to Dutch side Groningen in 2006 and then Ajax Amsterdam the following year, before signing for Liverpool.

After three and a half seasons in England, Suarez joined Barcelona and enjoyed his most successful spell, winning four league titles and the Champions League.

He won another league title with Atletico in 2021.

Suarez is Uruguay's all-time leading scorer with 68 goals in 132 games since 2007.

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace have signed American international defender Chris Richards from Bayern Munich on a five-year contract, both clubs said on Wednesday.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. BBC reported Palace will pay an initial £8.5 million (S$14.3 million) for the 22-year-old centre-back, with the fee rising to £11 million with add-ons.

"I'm really excited for it," Richards told Palace's website.

"The kind of project I've seen (attracted me). It's a lot of young players but also young players who have a lot of fight.

"Palace is a club that seems like they're always fighting."

Richards arrived at Bayern in 2018 from Major League Soccer team FC Dallas, initially signing on loan before making the transfer permanent in January.

The versatile defender made 10 appearances for the Bavarian club after his senior debut in 2020. He spent the second half of the 2020-21 campaign and the entirety of last season on loan at Hoffenheim, where he played 34 times in all competitions.

Richards has also become a regular in Gregg Berhalter's United States squads and has eight caps since his debut in 2020.

He becomes Palace's fourth signing of the transfer window, after midfielder Cheick Doucoure, winger Malcolm Ebiowei and goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

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