Suarez is back (Sorta); Bags brace in 60-min friendly vs Barcelona B

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The lightening of Luis Suarez’s ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini has allowed Luis’ lightning to strike on the pitch, albeit in a friendly against Barcelona B.

One of the newest at Camp Nou buried a pair of goals for Barcelona in a 60-minute friendly that saw the senior squad thump its B team 5-1.

Douglas and Marc-Andre ter Stegen also saw valuable minutes as Luis Enrique seeks out fitness for his players.

From The Daily Mail:

Suarez played well on top of his goals, working hard and unselfishly, making it clear that were it not for his ban, he would be in Luis Enrique’s side.

Tata Martino last season tried on occasion to arrange similar friendlies, but was told that it may affect Barca B’s schedule.

Enrique, on the other hand, didn’t take no for an answer and it is likely he will arrange at least two more games against Barca B before Suarez’s ban expires.

The aim is to have Suarez fit enough to play against Real Madrid, if needs be, which is the first match he is eligible for after his ban.

I’m sure the resigned — in more ways that one — Martino is super pleased to hear that what he thought would make Barca thrive is now acceptable practice.

Suarez played against Leon last month in the Joan Gamper Trophy competition, and it was revealed last week that Barca paid $106 million to acquire him from Liverpool (not the $128 million originally reported). Don’t know about you, but that makes a huge difference to me. I mean, I can barely subsist on the $22 million — minus almost $22 million — I brought in last year.

Soccer world reacts to the Manchester attacks

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NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.

Soccer personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.

Juventus purchases Cuadrado from Chelsea

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If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.

The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.

Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.

Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.

Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.

Report: Jermain Defoe meeting with Bournemouth

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Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.

Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.

[ MORE: ‘The Moment’ of each PL club’s season ]

The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.

Chelsea’s Conte wins pair of top managerial honors

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Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.

The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.

The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.

In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.