Friday, 11 July 2014

Luis Suarez completes £75m transfer to Barcelona as Liverpool lose star striker in wake of World Cup bite scandal

Luis Suarez has left Liverpool and completed a £75million move to Barcelona.
Liverpool have finalised the terms of a club-record fee with Barcelona for the sale of striker Luis Suarez.
Official talks began over a week ago and were productive from the start with the Catalan side agreeing to meet the Uruguay international's buy-out clause, believed to be £75million.
Thumbs up: Luis Suarez has completed a £75million move to Barcelona from Liverpool
Thumbs up: Luis Suarez has completed a £75million move to Barcelona from Liverpool


Banned: Luis Suarez has seen his appeal against his four-month ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini rejected
Banned: Luis Suarez has seen his appeal against his four-month ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini rejected
Subsequent negotiations continued over the method of payment as the Reds were interested in taking forward Alexis Sanchez as a makeweight in the deal but with the Chile international having signed for Arsenal on Thursday it became a straight cash transaction.
The finer details of how exactly that is to be paid have now been hammered out and Suarez, currently serving a four-month ban for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, is likely to be confirmed as a Barcelona player next week.
Suarez said it had always been a dream and ambition of his to play in Spain and he asked fans to understand his decision.
'It is with a heavy heart that I leave Liverpool for a new life and new challenges in Spain. Both me and my family have fallen in love with this club and with the city.
If the shirt fits: Barcelona staff have already got on the job of printing Suarez's No 9 shirts
If the shirt fits: Barcelona staff have already got on the job of printing Suarez's No 9 shirts
If the shirt fits: Barcelona staff have already got on the job of printing Suarez's No 9 shirts
If the shirt fits: Barcelona staff have already got on the job of printing Suarez's No 9 shirts


'But most of all I have fallen in love with the incredible fans. You have always supported me and we, as a family, will never forget it, we will always be Liverpool supporters.
'I hope you can all understand why I have made this decision. This club did all they could to get me to stay, but playing and living in Spain, where my wife's family live, is a lifelong dream and ambition. I believe now the timing is right.
'I wish Brendan Rodgers and the team well for the future. The club is in great hands and I'm sure will be successful again next season.
'I am very proud I have played my part in helping to return Liverpool to the elite of the Premier League and in particular back into the Champions League.
'Thank you again for some great moments and memories. You'll Never Walk Alone.'
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers paid tribute to his departing striker, saying: 'Luis is a very special talent and I thank him for the role he has played in the team in the past two years, during my time at Liverpool.
'I think he would be the first to accept he has improved as a player over that period, along with the team and has benefited from being here, as we have benefited from him
Bye bye? Luis Suarez looks set to complete a £75million move to Barcelona from Liverpool
Bye bye? Luis Suarez looks set to complete a £75million move to Barcelona from Liverpool
Decision: Suarez has 10 days to request the full written reasons for the appeal being rejected by FIFA
Decision: Suarez has 10 days to request the full written reasons for the appeal being rejected by FIFA
'The club have done all they can over a sustained period of time to try to keep Luis at Liverpool. It is with great reluctance and following lengthy discussions we have eventually agreed to his wishes to move to Spain for new experiences and challenges. We wish him and his young family well; we will always consider them to be friends.
'We are focused on the future, as we strive to continue with the progress we have made and build on last season's excellent Barclays Premier League campaign.
'I am confident we will improve the team further and will be stronger for this coming season, when we will be competing on all fronts; domestically and in the greatest club competition in the world, the Champions League.
New boy: Alexis Sanchez has completed his move from Barcelona to Arsenal, paving the way for Suarez
New boy: Alexis Sanchez has completed his move from Barcelona to Arsenal, paving the way for Suarez
'If there is one thing the history of this great club teaches us, it is that Liverpool FC is bigger than any individual. I hope our supporters continue to dream and believe that we are moving forward and with continued improvement and progression, together we will bring the success we all crave and deserve.'
The Anfield club confirmed the switch on Friday lunchtime.
'Liverpool FC confirms that Luis Suarez will be leaving the club after a transfer agreement was reached with FC Barcelona. The player now has permission to complete the usual formalities, which will then conclude the transfer,' said a statement.
'We would like to thank Luis for his contribution and the role he played in helping bring Champions League football back to Anfield.
'Everyone at Liverpool Football Club wishes Luis and his family well for the future.'
Chance: Suarez could still get his ban put on hold via the Court of Arbitration of Sport
Chance: Suarez could still get his ban put on hold via the Court of Arbitration of Sport

THE RAP SHEET: THE FULL LIST OF SUAREZ'S CONTROVERSIES

February 2007: Makes his international debut for Uruguay against Colombia but is sent off in the final minutes after being shown a second yellow card for dissent.
November 2007: Joins Ajax from Uruguayan side Nacional but is later suspended by the Dutch giants after a half-time dressing-room altercation with team-mate Albert Luque.
July 2010: During the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals, Suarez prevents Ghana's Dominic Adiyiah from scoring in the final minute with a deliberate handball on the line and is subsequently sent off. A penalty was awarded but missed by Asamoah Gyan and footage showed Suarez celebrating on the sidelines. Uruguay eventually went through to the last four on penalties.
November 2010: Handed a seven-match ban by the Dutch FA and fined by his club for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal during an Eredivisie match.
October 2011: Following his move to Liverpool in January 2011, is involved in a tackle with Everton's Jack Rodwell and goes down with apparent minimal contact. Rodwell is then sent off.
October 2011: Alleged to have racially abused Manchester United's Patrice Evra during a Premier League match. Later found guilty by an independent regulatory commission, banned for eight matches and fined £40,000.
Controversial: Syuarez was banned for racially abusing Patrice Evra

December 2011: Seen making an offensive gesture towards Fulham fans. At this time he had already been charged by the FA over the racism incident, although not yet punished, but was handed a further one-match ban for the gesture.
February 2012: United and Liverpool meet again at Old Trafford and more controversy ensues as Suarez refuses to shake Evra's hand before kick-off.
October 2012: Celebrates a goal against Everton by diving in front of Toffees boss David Moyes, who had earlier claimed that "divers" such as Suarez were putting fans off the English game.
January 2013: Handles the ball prior to scoring Liverpool's winner in the FA Cup third-round tie at Mansfield.
April 2013: Bites Branislav Ivanovic on the arm but escapes punishment on the pitch as the referee fails to see it, and scores Liverpool's equaliser seven minutes into stoppage time as they draw 2-2 with Chelsea at Anfield. Fined by club the following day and charged with violent conduct by the FA. Subsequently handed a 10-match ban by an independent regulatory commission, which Liverpool opt not to appeal against.
June 2014: Television replays show Suarez moving his head towards Chiellini, who responded by swinging an arm before chasing the referee to apparently insist he had been bitten on his shoulder. Banned by FIFA from all football for four months, as well as nine international matches, and ordered to pay a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs.

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