Sofia Balbi happens to be a young and vivacious Uruguayan woman who gained global fame after she married famous Uruguayan footballer Luis Suarez. She met Luis for the first time when she was all of 13 years old. Luis Suarez, who was 15 years old at that time, used to work as a street sweeper in Montevideo and was completely smitten by Sofia. Slowly and gradually, the two youngsters started dating each other frequently, and though Luis came from a very poor family, Sofia’s parents who were relatively well-off, willingly accepted their relationship. At the age of 14, Sofia and her family relocated to Barcelona in Spain while Luis continued to represent Nacional, a local soccer club. Suarez moved to Netherlands at age 19 following his signing a contract with the Dutch football club, FC Groningen. Luis was keen to shift to Europe so that he could join up with Sofia and stay close to her. Sofia and Suarez got married six years after she had emigrated from Uruguay. Sofia gave birth to a baby daughter within a year of her marriage while her second child, a son, was born three years after the birth of her daughter. Sofia prefers to stay in the shadow of her husband, away from the limelight, and spends her time bringing up the children.
Childhood & Early Life
Sofia Balbi was born on 11 October 1989 in Montevideo, Uruguay in a middle-class family. She spent the first 14 years of her life in the Uruguayan capital before migrating to the Spanish city of Barcelona in 2003.
Sofia’s father who was involved with the banking industry in Uruguay left his country for the shores of Spain on an assignment. She has a brother named Gonzalo Bali who plays professional football and two sisters, named Pao and Mariana.
She first bumped into Luis Suarez, when she was just 13. Luis who hailed from an economically disadvantaged section of society, had shifted to Montevideo’s La Comercial locality from Salto and used to sweep the streets in and around his neighborhood.
Suarez was a 15 year old teenager when his eyes fell on Sofia. He fell head over heels in love with her the first time he saw her. She recalls going out with Luis where he splurged his earnings from sweeping the streets and the coins he picked up from the roads.
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Relationship & Marriage
Sofia and Suarez both developed a liking for each other which gradually turned into a romantic relationship. Her parents, despite being aware that Luis could not match up to Sofia as he came from an underprivileged family, sanctioned their relationship. Suarez often used to have dinner with Sofia and her family at the latter’s home.
Her parents used to encourage Suarez to take soccer seriously and play the sport with all his heart so that he became an accomplished player in the distant future. One of Luis’s teammates from his youth soccer days had opined that Balbi’s family had practically sheltered and mentored him.
In 2003, Sofia left Uruguay for Spain and started living in Barcelona with her family while Luis continued playing for a local football club named Nacional. In 2006, Luis Suarez was signed by Dutch club FC Groningen and he shifted to Groningen, Holland. Suarez took his coach’s permission for taking leave for a couple of days so that he could see his girlfriend who was based in Barcelona.
Luis and Balbi tied the knot in 2009 and on 5 August 2010, the couple welcomed a baby daughter whom they named Delfina. In September 2013, the couple had their second child, a son named Benjamin. While the family stayed in Liverpool (when Suarez used to play for FC Liverpool), Delfina’s speech reflected a Scouse accent.
Luis Suarez donned a jersey that was imprinted with the words, “Welcome Benjamin” to celebrate the birth of his son during a fixture. Suarez’s coach at Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers, had high regards for Sofia. He said Luis’s wife played a key role in his transformation into a world-class footballer.
Luis Suarez who represented his motherland, Uruguay, in the 2014 FIFA World Cup became more famous or rather infamous for biting into Italian defender, Giorgio Chiellini than for the goals he scored. However, he confided to his wife soon after the incident that he did not bite on purpose. Nevertheless, when replays on TV and newspaper reports amply established that he had indeed bitten Giorgio, he admitted that he had lied about the matter.
Towards the end of 2016, it became known that Sofia Balbi would be opening a footwear store in Barcelona. The store was inaugurated in May 2017 and stocks well-known designer brands from around the world.