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Old 25-09-20, 11:45 AM   #1921
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When a player starts acting bigger than a club you’ve got a definite problem.

Did Messi just think he would win the League and CL every season from the beginning of his career to the end? He’s doing more harm than good with this for Barca now.
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Old 25-09-20, 11:53 AM   #1922
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Good read this

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13 trophies and 198 goals – but was Luis Suarez underappreciated at Barcelona?

By Dermot Corrigan Sep 24, 2020 17

“This is a very difficult day for me,” said Luis Suarez as he choked back tears at his farewell event as a Barcelona player.

“Playing at Barca — the best team in the world — was a dream. I must be very proud of all that I have done here, living such spectacular moments, winning so many trophies, playing alongside such marvellous players, including the best footballer ever. I will always appreciate the warmth and support from the fans from the first day till the last. Everyone here at the club must know that they will always have another ‘culé’ forever in me, wherever I am.”

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu was also gushing in his praise of the Uruguayan.

“This is a special day; a legend of our club is leaving, having won 13 trophies and becoming our third-highest goalscorer ever. We appreciate that enormously. I thank you, in the name of Barca fans all over the world, and hope you are happy in the future on and off the pitch.”

Despite the warm words, there was still a forced feel to the proceedings, and a sense Suarez and Bartomeu were keeping their real opinions to themselves.

During a Zoom chat with reporters, Suarez agreed it has been a “crazy month” and admitted he had things “to keep to myself” about the transfer saga.

Both Suarez and Bartomeu are winners, in a way.

Suarez secured his aim of getting a sizable pay-off to leave (€9 million) and has joined a club in Atletico Madrid who have ambitions to challenge for all possible trophies this season. His signing has caused huge excitement at Atletico. Bartomeu, meanwhile, has pushed through his very public aim of moving on one of the club’s highest earners.

Following August’s embarrassing 8-2 Champions League quarter-finals loss to Bayern Munich, Bartomeu made clear Suarez was one of the players he wanted rid of as he looked to rebuild the team.

However, Bartomeu must still fear Suarez coming back to haunt his former side over the coming months.

Suarez was told he was not wanted at Barcelona by their new manager, Ronald Koeman, on August 24. Three days earlier, he had said he would be happy to stay at the club even in the reserves, all the while trying to negotiate an exit on the best terms possible. The 33-year-old suffered the embarrassment of a trip to Perugia for an Italian language exam which has led to a police investigation into the validity of the certification he was given, when it appeared Juventus was his most likely destination. The University of Perugia has denied wrongdoing and there is no investigation into Suarez.

Both Atletico and Barcelona thought they had reached an agreement on Monday for Suarez to leave, only for Bartomeu to block the move when it emerged he was heading to Diego Simeone’s team for free. Frantic talks took place on Tuesday evening with Bartomeu meeting Suarez’s lawyers at the Nou Camp, while fans protested outside calling on Bartomeu to resign.

A deal was eventually struck and Barcelona issued the statement confirming his departure five minutes before midnight on Wednesday. Barcelona wanted it out there they were receiving €6 million from Atletico, not just letting him go for nothing.

Atletico, however, believe no money is changing hands now and they will only be out of pocket should they reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League with Suarez in their team over the next two seasons (the striker has signed a two-year contract).

Behind the smiles at Thursday lunchtime’s press conference, there was a feeling Suarez and Bartomeu will be happy to see the back of each other. It was not always like that.

“When Pere (Guardiola, his agent) called me to say I had signed for Barca, I could not believe it; I started to cry,” Suarez said, soon after joining in 2014. “I thought that it had all been broken after the Chiellini stuff. The club made a big effort for me which I will value all my life.”

Suarez was especially grateful then to Bartomeu, who pushed hard for his signing from Liverpool for €80 million, even while he was serving a four-month ban by FIFA for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini playing for Uruguay at that summer’s World Cup. That incident was the latest in a controversial career which also featured a ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra when he was at Liverpool.

There were also doubts from the likes of Johan Cruyff over how the “individualist” Suarez would fit in a side whose recent successes had been based on midfield control and teamwork. However, after having to wait until the October to make his debut in a Clasico against Real Madrid, which Barcelona lost, Suarez quickly settled into the team. Hitting it off with Lionel Messi was a huge help. Soon after becoming neighbours in the suburb of Castelldefels, the Suarez family were being invited to barbecues in the Messi’s garden, and the two South Americans started driving to training together. Their partners, Antonella Roccuzzo and Sofia Balbi, also became friends and started a fashion business together.

On the pitch, Suarez and Messi were proving a perfect match. The Uruguayan’s ability to click with the introspective but judgmental Argentinian contrasted with the experience of other top forwards at Barcelona over the last decade, including Thierry Henry, Samuel Eto’o, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Villa, Alexis Sanchez, Philipe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele and most recently Antoine Griezmann. Neymar was also inhibited during his first season but, after a few teething problems, the MSN (Messi-Suarez-Neymar) forward line clicked. Suarez scored the winner in the return Clasico to all but secure that season’s La Liga title, then helped clinch the treble by scoring in the Champions League final against Juventus.

In his second season, Suarez outscored both Messi and Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, to become the only other player besides those two to win the Pichichi award for La Liga’s top scorer in the last 11 years.

His 198 goals for Barcelona included every type of finish, and he scored prolifically in every competition, especially in finals — Club World Cup, Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup and Champions League.

Suarez goals in Clasicos more or less ended the reigns of both Rafa Benitez and Julen Lopetegui at the Bernabeu. He was just as motivated and hungry to make an impact in La Liga games against less glamorous opponents. He also racked up 97 assists.

“Maybe he is a bit different than the typical player with Barca DNA but he always fit very well, especially for his finishing and the balance he brought with Messi and Neymar,” a source heavily involved in bringing Suarez to the Nou Camp told The Athletic. “Maybe when you play alongside the best (Messi) everything is reduced a little bit, because all the praise tends to go to him, but Suarez is at the level of the greatest ever Barca players.”

Meanwhile, he managed to keep his dark side under control.

In typical Suarez fashion, there have been a few scrapes with opponents but he generally stayed on the right side of the law, with just one red card in his 283 appearances.

So, why were Barcelona so keen to move Suarez on now?

The first reason is money. Bartomeu desperately needs to cut the wage bill, and Suarez was the second-highest earner at the club on €18 million (including tax) a year. He had just one season left on his contract, and had he played more than 60 per cent of the games during the 2020-2021 season a clause would have kicked in extending that for another 12 months.

Given Barcelona’s huge financial problems — even before the COVID-19 crisis — it became imperative to shift Suarez, along with Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and others whose hefty salaries no longer matched their contributions. That was even more the case when Messi decided to stay for at least another year. Koeman is keen to bring in his Dutch countryman Memphis Depay from Lyon and space had to be cleared both in the team and on the wage bill before that can happen.

The second factor is Suarez’s injuries. He has had two serious knee operations over the last 18 months and his movement has been significantly diminished. He can still get himself into scoring positions inside the box but his work rate off the ball has dropped a lot, which is especially a problem when Messi is also in the team. That has contributed to Barcelona’s pressing of opponents becoming woeful in recent seasons.

Suarez has also been sold to a rival to appease angry Barcelona fans who have grown increasingly frustrated with their No 9’s performances. Although he scored 21 goals and contributed 12 assists in 36 games last season, there were grumbles around the Nou Camp about him missing too many chances.

“Of course his exit is linked to reducing the salaries of the first team,” says a source involved in the motion of censure against Bartomeu. “It’s true that he has scored 15 or 20 goals a season, but his general performance over the last two years has not been that of the decisive No 9 the team needs.”

There are also those inside the dressing room who felt Suarez was no longer a positive influence. A source says some senior players grew “tired of his behaviour” and a clique of Suarez, Messi and Vidal were able to put too much pressure on coaches and directors even to the point of “taking decisions themselves” around tactics and training.

The president did not want Suarez. Neither did his coach, a large number of the supporters, nor even some of his most influential team-mates.

So his time was up.

Which begs the question: why was Atletico coach Simeone so keen to sign him?

Atletico need a regular goalscorer. And badly. In recent years, Simeone has signed Mario Mandzukic, Jackson Martinez, Kevin Gameiro, re-signed Diego Costa and last summer spent €55 million on Alvaro Morata.

None of them have been able to score regularly enough for Atletico to even challenge for trophies.

After Griezmann left them for Barcelona last summer, Simeone’s team scored just 51 goals in their 38 league games and never challenged in a title race which Real Madrid won without really impressing. However, the coach known as El Cholo believes he has the core of a new, strong Atletico team — from Jan Oblak in goal, through Jose Gimenez and Renan Lodi in defence, and Koke and Saul in midfield. Joao Felix should be able to replace Griezmann’s creativity, but the team needs a pure finisher. A fit and firing Suarez would bring that.

His aggression, intensity and will to win are also qualities Atletico lack at present.

The hope around the Wanda Metropolitano stadium is that Suarez will have a similar — or even bigger — impact as David Villa, who Atletico signed from Barcelona in the summer of 2013.

In his only season with them, Villa helped Atletico win their sole La Liga title of Simeone’s nine years in charge.

Simeone clearly feels Suarez, who he has called “a hugely important player — tremendous, marvellous, extraordinary, strong, aggressive, intense” will have a similar impact on his team as Villa. Or at least that he will be a lot more decisive than Morata, whose diffident personality is so different from Suarez’s (and Simeone’s).

It is also relevant that Suarez was so often decisive against Atletico — providing eight goals and five assists in 18 meetings, including a superbly struck goal at the Nou Camp which more or less decided the 2018-19 title race between the two teams.

The idea that Suarez is leaving Barcelona with something to prove is also surely attractive to Atletico, and something that Simeone will be keen to fuel over the coming months. At his Thursday farewell, Suarez could not help showing regular flashes of pride and gave the feeling he does not at all feel finished as a player.

“When Barca put me on the market, there were many calls, obviously, from many clubs,” he said. “But I am going to a team which can compete as equals with anyone, including Barcelona and Real Madrid, with a lot of excitement and motivation for a new challenge.”

Suarez could come up against Barcelona as soon as October 22, when Atletico will host Koeman’s team.

The return in the Catalan capital is next May, when the title race should be coming to a climax.

Suarez will be hoping to show his previous employers just how dangerous a player he can still be.
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Old 25-09-20, 12:01 PM   #1923
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Originally Posted by Buzzo View Post
When a player starts acting bigger than a club you’ve got a definite problem.

Did Messi just think he would win the League and CL every season from the beginning of his career to the end? He’s doing more harm than good with this for Barca now.
He wants out. He thinks he should be allowed to leave. At this stage I don't think it has fuck all to do with winning trophies. Barca would be wise to let him go, massive save on wages and an unhappy player away from the dressing room.
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Old 25-09-20, 12:12 PM   #1924
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He wants out. He thinks he should be allowed to leave. At this stage I don't think it has fuck all to do with winning trophies. Barca would be wise to let him go, massive save on wages and an unhappy player away from the dressing room.
It is definitely about the trophies.

The last 3 seasons in a row they have been embarrassingly bombed out of the CL. If they were getting to the CL final and winning it he would not be looking to leave. They also fell away badly in the chase for La Liga.

He can see the direction Barca are heading and he doesnt want to be part of it. But throwing his toys out of the pram isn't a good look for him. They have invested heavily in the squad even still, buying some great players (De Jong etc). All he is doing is creating disharmony.

In my opinion obvs.
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Old 25-09-20, 12:26 PM   #1925
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Is there a less sincere person in football than Luis?

He seems to be emotionally attached to all of his previous clubs and sheds tears, "I'll always be a fan", etc whilst fluttering his eyelashes at the next big thing.

We all fall for it.
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Old 25-09-20, 12:32 PM   #1926
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Is there a less sincere person in football than Luis?

He seems to be emotionally attached to all of his previous clubs and sheds tears, "I'll always be a fan", etc whilst fluttering his eyelashes at the next big thing.

We all fall for it.
He never bit anyone at Barca? That must count for something?
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Old 25-09-20, 12:38 PM   #1927
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Good read this
A few weeks ago you were saying these were too long - what has changed
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Old 25-09-20, 12:46 PM   #1928
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A few weeks ago you were saying these were too long - what has changed


That one is nowhere near as long as some of the others I've seen and thought "fuck that"
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Old 25-09-20, 04:34 PM   #1929
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Old 26-09-20, 05:31 AM   #1930
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What a car crash of a season coming up for Barcelona...wonder of City might make a cheeky 75m quid bid in the next couple of days?
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Old 26-09-20, 07:54 AM   #1931
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i thought the same can see messi in a city shirt before window shuts
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Old 26-09-20, 08:19 AM   #1932
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Wouldn't surprise me. Messi might have to take a shit in Bartomeu's coffee whilst he's not looking to seal the deal, but it will likely happen January at the latest i reckon.
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Old 27-09-20, 05:02 PM   #1933
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Old 27-09-20, 05:22 PM   #1934
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Old 27-09-20, 05:22 PM   #1935
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Old 27-09-20, 06:40 PM   #1936
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Be good if Barca lose
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Old 27-09-20, 06:56 PM   #1937
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Can you imagine the way suarez will celebrate when he scores against barca
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Old 27-09-20, 09:40 PM   #1938
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Old 27-09-20, 09:52 PM   #1939
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We could've had that partnership with us in 2013 if Costa hadn't turned us down.
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Old 28-09-20, 04:53 AM   #1940
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They bite and fight and bite and fight and bite. Bite, bite, bite. Fight, fight, fight. The Suarez and Costa showwwwww.


athankayou!
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Old 28-09-20, 09:37 AM   #1941
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They bite and fight and bite and fight and bite. Bite, bite, bite. Fight, fight, fight. The Suarez and Costa showwwwww.


athankayou!
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Originally Posted by Craig_H View Post
Dear god dom, times are bad when you have to team up with rudo

Onto other matters, songs...

They fight,
They bite,
They bite and fight and bite,
bite, bite,bite,
fight, fight, fight....
The Carroll and Suarez Show.


Hmmn, seems to be a case of copyright infringement here...
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Old 28-09-20, 01:28 PM   #1942
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Hmmn, seems to be a case of copyright infringement here...

Haha rain man!
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Old 28-09-20, 02:27 PM   #1943
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Haha rain man!
I remembered it cos it tickled me first time round, so I went looking for it

Plus, it's Harv, gotta keep him grounded.

Or is Harv actually Craig_H??
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Old 29-09-20, 05:52 AM   #1944
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Mine's better
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