Luis Suárez Miramontes, the first player in FC Barcelona history to win the prestigious Ballon d'Or — and the only Spanish player to have ever won it — was honoured by Barça on Wednesday in a ceremony during which he donated the award to the FC Barcelona Museum. Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu ceremoniously accepted the original trophy, which Suárez won in 1960, before it is to be permanently located on the first floor of the Museum in a glass display case exhibiting Club relics from the 1960s.
The event was attended by a slew of Club directors and executives along with current midfielder and team captain Andrés Iniesta who, according to many who saw Suárez play, is the player who most embodies the skills and personality that Suárez, now 79 years old, once exhibited for the Catalan Club. Journalist Lluís Canut provided a most eloquent commentary of the legendary player who hailed from A Coruña in Galicia, Spain.
"Today the Barça family welcomes this gift with great admiration and respect. We are truly grateful for all you have done for this club. We wholeheartedly thank you. "
"We are very proud that the Museum can enjoy a Ballon d'Or from one of the best players to have ever played for the club, as is Luis Suarez."
"We continue to nurture our Museum, which this year celebrates its 30th birthday. And today, we take a giant step forward that will appeal to many people because Suárez is a legend."
"I'm sure in a few years we will also be here to receive the Ballon d'Or that, one day, will be won by Andrés Iniesta."
"I am very happy and excited about this event, and I think that making this donation to this wonderful Museum, where there are so many trophies and so many things revered by the Club, is a way for people to relive what I was able to achieve."
"It was at FC Barcelona where I really grew as a player and became known worldwide. I want to thank the President of FC Barcelona and my former teammates."