Luis Suarez Approached by Barcelona Before World Cup, Admits Josep Bartomeu

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2014

FILE - In this  June 19, 2014 file photo, Uruguay's Luis Suarez celebrates scoring 2-1 during the group D World Cup soccer match between Uruguay and England at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Barcelona reached agreement with Liverpool on the transfer of Luis Suarez on Friday July 11, 2014, giving the troubled striker a chance to rehabilitate his image when his latest biting ban is over. Suarez will travel to Barcelona next week for a medical and to sign a five-year contract. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)
Michael Sohn/Associated Press

Barcelona have sensationally admitted that they contacted Luis Suarez before the World Cup finals in Brazil regarding his transfer from Liverpool.

The Catalan giants' president Josep Bartomeu confessed in an interview with CNN's James Montague and Amanda Davies that Barca convinced Suarez to join them before the tournament in South America, and crucially before the player's biting incident which saw his competition end early due to suspension. 

Bartomeu said:

When we approached Suarez, it was before the World Cup. We told him that he had the right age. He had the experience. Playing at Liverpool gave him incredible performance and it was the right time for him to come to our club, to Barcelona.


We knew from of lot of years ago that Luis Suarez likes our club, likes our city. And we have the advantage - his agent is Pep Guardiola’s brother ... He’s from Barca in his heart, also, so everything was perfect and created the perfect atmosphere that Luis Suarez accepted.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 14:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool faces the media during the presentation as new Ambassador for 888poker on May 14, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

The BBC's Nick Sutton also tweeted the headline surrounding the Suarez story:

Bartomeu's comments could cause ramifications for Barca if UEFA chooses to look into Suarez's transfer in further depth. The rules around player approaches are stringent and Bartomeu has admitted that his club approached the Uruguay striker before a deal was struck.

Suarez emphatically hit 31 goals in 33 Premier League matches last year, per Squawka, proving himself to be one of the hottest attackers on the planet on his way to being named PFA Player of the Year.

He had tried to force through a move to Arsenal 12 months previous, per Bhas Khunju of, and former Gunner Sol Campbell believes his old team had a lucky escape due to Suarez's constant moments of controversy.

Campbell claims Suarez would have not been "mentally" a good fit for Arsenal, per Khunju, and that "there are so many kids watching and billions of fans around the world. Maybe Barcelona can sort him out."

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JULY 12:  An employee hangs a Luis Suarez shirt next to a Leo Messi shirt after printing his name and number on it at the FC Barcelona official store on July 12, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Suarez will now form one of the deadliest front lines in the game as he teams up with Lionel Messi and Neymar.

As a triple threat they may be irresistible this year, but with Neymar recovering from injury more weight of expectation will be on Suarez's shoulders.

But he has shown that he does not mind being centre stage. With Messi still playing at a high level, despite the feeling that he is not the player he once was, Suarez will thrive in La Liga as his partner and is assured to score goals aplenty. 

But the words of Barca president Bartomeu leave a bad taste in the mouth.

Liverpool fans were convinced that Suarez would have remained with them had they won the league title, but Bartomeu's comments suggest otherwise.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 11:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool with his son Benjamin after the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield on May 11, 2014 in Liverpool, England. Liverpool finish as runners-up in the Premier Lea
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Suarez had said a month before the World Cup, per Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror: “Don’t worry, nothing is going to happen to me. I’m very happy here and my family is happy here."

But it seems that this was misdirection from the player.

However, Liverpool have received a strong fee for Suarez from Barca, and can now concentrate on rebuilding without him.

Liverpool defender Glen Johnson has been quick to point out that his side can win without Suarez, per Sky Sports: "It gets overlooked that we played the first six games of last season without Luis and made a fantastic start, so we can clearly win without Luis." 

Johnson is correct, but there is little doubt that Liverpool will find life a lot harder without the brilliant Uruguayan. Suarez is truly one of the greatest players on earth and he is impossible to directly replace.

Daniel Sturridge will need to further step up and take the Reds forward with his goals, and if Raheem Sterling can continue his progress, Liverpool will challenge for a Champions League position once more.