Arguably the most successful Honduran player of his generation, David Suazo has the pace, aerial prowess and finishing skills to worry any defence. Despite those attributes he has struggled to keep his place in the Catracho starting line-up in recent months, with Carlos Costly and Carlos Pavon occasionally getting the nod in the final six-team qualifying group in the CONCACAF Zone.
Nicknamed La Pantera (The Panther) for obvious reasons, Suazo made his league debut with Olimpia. After impressing with his country at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Nigeria 1999 he promptly moved to Italian club Cagliari. And though the Sardinians lost their Serie A place in his first season there, Suazo made his mark, becoming one of the leading scorers in the club's history. He propelled Cagliari back into the Italian top flight with a flurry of goals and even broke Luigi Riva’s all-time club record for the highest number of goals in a single season.
After being named the best foreign player in Serie A, Suazo moved on to Inter Milan, where he was to enjoy far less success. Hampered by a string of serious injuries and dips in form, the Honduran striker was shipped out on loan to Benfica and then Genoa, his current club, where he made an impressive start but has since struggled to get back to his best.
A permanent fixture in the qualifying competitions for Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006, Suazo has been the star of the Honduras side since he was first called up, though his fortunes began to wane during Honduras’s successful push for a berth at South Africa 2010. Yet despite being relegated to the bench on occasion, he still delivered when his side needed him, setting up Pavon for the goal that took Los Catrachos into the FIFA World Cup™ finals for only the second time in their history.
As his contribution that day against El Salvador showed, even when not at his best, Suazo still has the ability to unhinge opposing defences, a quality that will surely prove valuable in South Africa.