A mere three days after the Premier League season concluded and Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is already fighting off questions of a release clause.
In Barcelona for a sponsor’s event through 888 Poker, Suarez was bombarded by questions about his future and in particular, potential links to Barcelona and Real Madrid.
To the delight of Kopites everywhere, the Uruguayan deflected each probe with the skill and guile that saw him score 31 goals this past season. The Guardian’s Sid Lowe relays the drill down:
Q: ‘Any chance of a move to Spain?’
A: “My head now is focused on the World Cup. I had a very good season with Liverpool but now I am focused on the World Cup. Everyone knows that there is always too much media speculation.”
Q: ‘Is there a contractual clause that allows you to leave Liverpool for Madrid or Barcelona?’
A: “No, no, not as far as I am aware. There is no clause that suggests a priority for a specific team.”
Q: ‘Would you like to play with Neymar and Messi?’
A: “Everyone knows they are great players.”
Q: ‘Do Barcelona need a No9 and could you fit in their system?’
A: “I’m not the coach. They know what they need. I have a contract with Liverpool.”
Q: ‘What do you do when you see reports about you moving?’
A: “I turn the page. . . you know what the press is like, how they speculate, and you try to not take any notice. I know what I want. My agent tells me what’s there and what’s not. It’s more speculation than reality.”
Q: ‘What do the words “Real Madrid” mean to you?’
A: “Real Madrid? The only thing I think is Cristiano Ronaldo and that he doesn’t score. He’s one of the best in the world with Messi. I kill myself to score goals; they do it so easily. If he scores, it’ll be a pity.”
Q: How did you feel after the Crystal Palace game?’
A: “I was so angry on the inside. A week before we had real hopes of winning the league and after the Palace game, we knew that it had gone. We had lost the chance. I felt frustration and rage at the fact that the opportunity had been lost. I covered my face because I was so hurt and frustrated. I preferred people not to see me.”
Q: ‘How would you classify the season?’
A: “In the end it was a pity: we had the opportunity but didn’t take it. But if you look at the previous years, at what Liverpool had done before and at what we did this season, it was a magnificent season.”
Bottom line, Suarez seems to be in a good place with Liverpool. And rightfully so. The club backed him through thick and thin last summer, even when he appeared to have his head turned by the transfer bid of Arsenal. Now, he seems relaxed and content in his role as the lead striker at a club with high aspirations that is bound for the Champions League.