Monthly Archives: May 2013

Watch Suarez announce his desire to leave Liverpool this summer

The Uruguayan striker claims his negative portrayal in the British media has influenced his decision to seek a move away from Anfield and the Premier League

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez announced his desire to leave Anfield this summer during a press conference in Uruguay on Thursday.

The 26-year-old, who has refused to give the Merseyside club assurances regarding his future, claims that he has been “persecuted” by the British press and is hoping to make a swift exit from the Premier League.

Get the highlights from Suarez’s interview below…

Suarez on reasons for leaving:

“My reason for leaving is not the money. If it were the money I would have left already. My main reason is my family and my image. That’s my priority now.

“It’s a difficult moment for me. The coach and may colleagues know that they didn’t treat me well here. I don’t feel comfortable here any more. They know it [the team]. So I think it’s understandable that I leave.”
 
Suarez on English media:
 
“Firstly, being persecuted from the paparazzi all the time. I couldn’t go to my garden or the supermarket. I couldn’t do anything. I know is normal being followed by the press, but it was too much.

“All silly things they said about me, all the pictures, all the taunts, etc. That happened every day and nobody [in the press] supported me. They talk about me being the named as the best player in England, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

I knew it because of the way the treated me. And the straw that broke the camel’s back was my mistake. I accept my fault, but they went too far [English press].”
 
Suarez on potential destination:
 
“I don’t have any offer yet. I don’t know when I will leave or even if I will finally leave or I will stay. The club knows what I think and what I want.

“I don’t know what will happen but I have a contract. If I stay, I will do my best here. But I don’t think that will happen because of all the bullying from the press against me. And the team is very aware of everything.”

Liverpool statement: Suarez is not for sale

The 26-year-old has publicly announced he is searching for a move away from Liverpool but his wishes have been rejected by the club who insist the player is not for sale

Liverpool have insisted want-away striker Luis Suarez is not for sale after the player announced his desire to leave Anfield this summer.

Suarez confirmed his ambition to leave the club on Thursday, stating the effect of the English press on his public image and family life as the main reasons for wanting a transfer.

The Uruguay international publicly announced his intention to leave the club despite the continued stance that the player is not for sale, with Liverpool reiterating their desire to keep their leading striker.

“Luis Suarez is not for sale – neither Luis or his representatives have communicated these feelings directly to Liverpool football club,” a Liverpool spokesman told Goal.

“The club remains supportive of Luis and expect him to honour his contract. We will not be making any further comment at this stage.”

Suarez was named as Liverpool Fans’ Player of the Year by supporters after leading the goal-scoring charts with 30 goals in all competitions, but controversy surrounding the striker has led to a fractured relationship with fans outside the club.

The decision of the 26-year-old to publicly state his desire to leave comes amid rumours suggesting he is being tracked by Spanish giants, Real Madrid.

Hamann slams Suarez: He dragged the image of Liverpool through the mud

The former Reds midfielder has criticised the Uruguay international following his announcement that he wants to leave England and is baffled by his decision to blame the media

Dietmar Hamann has hit out at striker Luis Suarez following his declaration that he wants to leave Liverpool, insisting the Uruguayan has “dragged the image of the club through the mud”.

The Reds’ star man, who confirmed his desire to leave the Anfield club this week, insists he must leave England to protect the interests of his family and image following criticisms from the media.

With the 26-year-old having been caught up in a race row controversy involving Patrice Evra last year before biting Branislav Ivanovic in April, former Germany international Hamann has little sympathy for Suarez and believes that he has damaged Liverpool’s reputation.

Hamann Tweeted: “Suarez gave great service but missed 20 games, dragged the image of the club through the mud and now blames media for his exit #topguy”

Former Tottenham striker Gary Lineker, meanwhile, is in no doubt that Suarez should stay at Anfield after Brendan Rodgers’ side supported him during the various controversies that have marred his time in England.

He Tweeted: “Luis Suarez wants to leave Liverpool. Nice reward for a club that rightly or wrongly stuck steadfastly behind him.”

Atsu keen on Premier League move

The 21-year-old, who is entering the final year of his contract, has rejected a fresh deal at the Dragao with the intention of engineering a move to England this summer

Christian Atsu has moved closer to a proposed move to the Premier League after rejecting a new deal at Porto.

The Ghana midfielder has been involved in a contract dispute with the Portuguese club for months and has now refused to sign a new deal after the Dragao club insisted on a €30 million [£24m] release clause.

The 21-year-old has continually been linked with a move to the Premier League, admitting it is his dream to play in England.

“I spoke to the club [Porto] before I came away on international duty and informed them that I won’t be signing a new deal,” Atsu told Sky Sports.

“The club have made their feelings clear to me after I refused to sign a new deal and I hope we can reach a resolution soon.

“It has always been my dream to play in England and it is flattering to be linked with some big Premier League clubs.

“At the moment I am focused on Ghana’s World Cup games, but I see my future in England and I hope I will have more news after these games.”

The winger is part of the Ghana side that has been selected for the 2014 World Cup qualifying games against Sudan and Lesotho in June.

Italy’s World Cup hopefuls: Florenzi, Saponara & the players joining the battle for Brazil

The Azzurri will be heading for South America in 12 months time, but there are still opportunities for fringe players and wild cards to stake a claim for a place

ANALYSIS
By Kris Voakes

Italy entertain San Marino in Bologna on Friday night in an assignment which will ease them in gently ahead of a calendar which sees them head to the Czech Republic for a World Cup qualifier then board a plane to Brazil for the Confederations Cup.

But a year from now, things will be getting altogether more real. The final squads will be being announced for the World Cup, with anticipation building for the rather more nerve-wracking prospect of football’s biggest event by the day.

Cesare Prandelli could probably name around two-thirds of his 23-man playing staff for the World Cup right now if he was asked to, but the next 12 months will provide an opportunity for fringe players and outsiders to stake a real claim for a place on the plane heading for South America next June.

Below, Goal considers a number of players for potential selection next year out of the crop which have yet to start for the Azzurri in a competitive international.

FABIO BORINI (22, Attacker, Liverpool)

It is amazing what a difference a year makes. After making a significant impact with Roma in his first full season for the Giallorossi last term, Borini went to the Euro 2012 finals with Cesare Prandelli’s squad.

However, it is now 15 months since his one and only appearance for the Azzurri, an impressive substitute outing against the USA in Genoa, and injury has restricted him to only 10 league games in a Liverpool shirt since his €13.3 million switch last summer.

Should he rediscover his form on the right-hand side of attack in a thriving Reds side in 2013-14, there’s every chance the former Swansea and Parma striker could return to the national scene in time for the World Cup.

ALESSANDRO FLORENZI (22, Midfielder, Roma)

If Borini was the rising star for Roma in 2011-12, then there is no doubting who was the stand-out youngster of this season for the club. Florenzi hit the ground running from day one of the campaign to ensure that he played a big part in the capital club’s push for a top-six spot and the Coppa Italia final.

By the season’s end, his dynamic performances in midfield had become just as much a feature of Roma’s play as Daniele De Rossi’s ball-winning abilities or Francesco Totti’s inspiring efforts up front.

Able to play on either side of the midfield axis, his drive and energy are matched by great talent on the ball, giving him a versatility that could see him add a trip to the World Cup to the two friendly appearances he has picked up against France and the Netherlands over the past 12 months.

MANOLO GABBIADINI (21, Attacker, Juventus)

While Gabbiadini remains very much an outside shot for a trip to the World Cup, he could easily become a serious candidate with a big season in Serie A next time around.

Not particularly noted for his significant abilities in front of goal in Serie A – he scored just six times for Bologna in 2012-13 after one in 23 for Atalanta the season before – Gabbiadini has an excellent tally of 10 in 19 at Under-21 level.

If he can begin to marry his excellent qualities in the channel more regularly with a more mature approach to his all-round game and become more confident with the goal in his sights at club level, then there is still a chance he can make it to Brazil in 2014 with Cesare Prandelli’s squad.

LORENZO INSIGNE (21, Attacker, Napoli)

After playing 37 times for a Napoli side which finished second in Serie A in 2012-13, it seems amazing to note that Insigne has just 45 minutes under his belt at international level still. The fact that was a substitute appearance full of verve and creativity in a World Cup qualifier against Malta comes as a lesser surprise though.

Insigne’s magnificent attacking talent, harnessed well over the next 12 months, could see him become one of Italy’s key men at the World Cup. While it may be a stretch to suggest he could already be a first-choice pick 12 months from now, it has to be a consideration.

With Rafa Benitez having been handed the coaching position at the San Paolo, it is to be hoped that he will choose Insigne ahead of Goran Pandev more often than did Walter Mazzarri, just as the Spaniard was the only coach to give Philippe Coutinho a real chance at Inter.

NICOLA SANSONE (21, Attacker, Parma)

Sansone has become a key member of Roberto Donadoni’s Parma side over the past year, and another season of such impressive growth could see him become a real contender for an Italy shirt.

After spells with Bayern Munich II and Crotone, Sansone was a wild-card pick in many people’s eyes when Donadoni put his faith in him this term, but the attacking midfielder has made a significant impact in many of Parma’s most outstanding performances of 2012-13.

He notched up the impressive record of netting against Juventus, Milan and Inter, and also had a goalbound effort deflected in against Napoli, showing his thirst for making a mark on the big occasion. Another string of such performances at the U21 European Championship in Israel this summer could push him closer to an Azzurri debut.

RICCARDO SAPONARA (21, Attacker, Milan)

With not a single Serie A appearance to his name thus far, Saponara remains a real long-shot for a World Cup place at this stage, but a glance across to new team-mate Stephan El Shaarawy at Milan’s 2013-14 photo call will surely give him the belief that he can make a huge impact with the Rossoneri and Italy too.

Once a jobbing winger at both club and youth international level, Saponara has been switched into a central attacking midfield role at Empoli to magnificent effect, securing him a move to Milan in January. Known to many as the ‘Kaka of Serie B’, the thought of heading for his idol’s homeland for the World Cup remains a dream scenario at this stage.

But he can be encouraged by Cesare Prandelli’s handling of the likes of El Shaarawy and others, knowing that an impressive start to life in the top flight could be granted immediate reward at international level.

MARCO VERRATTI (20, Midfielder, Paris Saint-Germain)

A 16-year-old debutant in the third tier, 17-year-old regular in Serie B and then 19-year-old mega-money purchase for one of the world’s richest clubs, Verratti seems destined for super-stardom.

His astonishing rise has been one of the feel good stories on the peninsula over the last couple of years, while many believe that his transfer to Paris Saint-Germain marks a missed opportunity on the part of Italian football to make a statement about its ability to retain its top talents in the domestic game.

With an unparalleled awareness of the game among others his age, Verratti is being earmarked as the natural heir to Andrea Pirlo, and should the Juventus man suffer an injury or loss of form between now and next June, the PSG midfielder will surely be the first Prandelli will turn to. He already has a goal to his name in his Azzurri career too, grabbing a late equaliser against the Netherlands in one of three friendly appearances thus far.

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Suarez confirms desire to leave Liverpool

The Uruguay international has hinted that he could move to another league following constant negative press in England, with Real Madrid understood to be interested in the striker

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has confirmed his desire to leave England amid rumours of interest from Real Madrid.

On Wednesday, Goal exclusively revealed the Uruguay international has refused to commit his future to Brendan Rodgers’ side with the 26-year-old unhappy with his portrayal by the English media.

Liverpool are ready to listen to offers for the Suarez, who is keen to play Champions League football, despite the club’s public stance that the forward is not for sale.

Suarez insists the English media have created an environment he does not wish to live in and is open to moving elsewhere.

“I have a daughter and a family and I want to take them out of the current atmosphere,” he told reporters. “I have feelings and I would like to go to another league.

“They [the media] treated me badly and it would be understandable if one day I leave the club.”

The striker was named Liverpool Fans’ Player of the Year after scoring 30 goals in all competitions, but he feels he will never be truly appreciated in the Premier League due to the way he is represented.

He added: “In England, I was never going to win any prize because of how they treated me.”