1. No one likes Barcelona any more
Ah, Barcelona. Remember Mes Que Un Club? Just a few years ago, the Catalans were hailed as a shiny saintly beacon in an otherwise depressingly greedy and despicable football world. They relied on homegrown, organic products, played astonishing football, refused to bespoil their gorgeous, historic shirts with sponsors and generally acted as though they were on a different moral plane. Now, however, they have had a transfer ban suspended on appeal for their alleged improper acquisition of young players, tiki-taka is dying, they have no less than TWO adverts plastered on their kit and have just signed a unrepentant racial abuser and prolific biter. And they still have Sergio Busquets. Suddenly, Real Madrid are the good guys.
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2. But they've got one of the best attacks of all time
Has a club side ever assembled a forward line quite like Barcelona's? In Lionel Messi they have the world's best player, in Neymar potentially the man to claim his throne, and in Suarez the undisputed best player in the English top flight over the past two years who has been described as the spiritual heir to Maradona. Defences will cower at the sight of all three men in action (when Suarez returns from his ban anyway) and Barcelona will surely break through the 100-goal barrier again next season. Quite how coach Luis Enrique will use all three players together remains to be seen, but the sheer weight of goals they will provide means this could be the most dangerous club side of all. Even Real Madrid's front three of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema doesn't compare.
Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi (185) had more shots on target in league football last season than Manchester United (183).
— Matt Furniss (@Matt_Furniss) July 11, 2014
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3. And La Liga is the undisputed home of the superstar
Bayern Munich's players may have scored the most goals at the World Cup so far, but the Bundesliga's world-class talents do not match those of La Liga, which with this signing has underlined its supremacy in world football once again. Arguably the five best attackers on the planet - Messi, Ronaldo, Bale, Suarez and Neymar - all ply their trade in Spain, though Zlatan Ibrahimovic may disagree. La Liga clubs (well, two of them) have the best players, spend the most cash and provide the best entertainment, of that there can be no argument.
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4. This leaves Liverpool in trouble
Liverpool's recruitment of Rickie Lambert and, possibly, Wilfried Bony as replacements for the outgoing Suarez are fairly underwhelming, and their shotgun transfer policy whiffs of Tottenham's plan to try and replace Gareth Bale last season - and we all saw how that ended up. Now, we aren't suggesting Tim Sherwood will pitch up at Anfield any time soon, but losing Suarez is a daunting test for Rodgers, just months after he thought he had the Premier League title in his grasp. Liverpool, unless something spectacular happens, will not be troubling the top of the table this season, even if Daniel Sturridge is a class act.
Luis was the best Lfc player I played with bar Gerrard. Gutted he's gone but was inevitable he would go to Spain one day. — Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) July 11, 2014
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5. But at least they'll be spared his embarrassing ban
In some ways, losing Suarez will probably come as a relief to Liverpool, or at least their PR division. The Uruguayan has been a constant source of embarrassment for the club and now they are relieved of the quandary of what to do while he serves out his four-month ban. Now it is Barcelona who must grapple with FIFA's edict that Suarez cannot even train with his new club, let alone set foot in their stadium until the end of October. Should make for an awkward unveiling ceremony.
Barcelona have asked FIFA if they are allowed to present Suárez at the Camp Nou, they expect an answer on Monday.
— AS English (@English_AS) July 11, 2014
- Sports & Recreation
- Luis Suarez
- Lionel Messi
- Gareth Bale
- Real Madrid