Chivas USA defender Claudio Suarez tells Nick Green of the Daily Breeze he expects to hang up his boots at the end of the 2008 season, thus closing the door on a glorious career spanning 20 years. Suarez, 39, is the most capped player in the history of the Mexican national team with 178 appearances, including the 1994 and 1998 World Cups and one Mexican Championship with Pumas in 1991. As Green says, the man known affectionately as the Emperador (Emperor) is one of the most elegant and consistent central defenders of his generation -- certainly one of the best Mexico has ever seen.
As such, he's a true celebrity in his homeland, which is one of the reasons he enjoys the relative anonymity of playing in the United States. "I live a normal life here compared to how I live in Mexico," Suarez says. "In Mexico, we can't go out as a family practically and I can't go out on the street."
Known for the almost effortless manner of his defending, Suarez has been able to make up for his lack of pace with good positioning and his impeccable reading of the game. As Loyola Marymount product Bobby Burling says, "With as much experience as he has, it's like he's not even trying." Suarez says he plans to coach once his playing days are over.