As reported by the Football Leaks website (h/t Goal), which has previously released contract details for the likes of Gareth Bale, Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria, the European champions agreed to pay for the striker in five instalments; four of £13 million have already been paid to the Reds, while the final one, worth £12.98 million, is due on July 31 this year.
It means Suarez will cost the Catalan juggernauts a shade under £65 million in total, and after a brilliant first two seasons at the Camp Nou, few would deny that’s money well spent.
Here is a look at some of the 29-year-old’s best moments in the iconic Blaugrana jersey:
While it’s easy to say in hindsight that Suarez’s signing was a no-brainer, at the time there were doubts about whether he was up to the challenge of playing for a club like Barca. Indeed, as the deal went through in the summer of 2014, Suarez was in hot water for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, meaning his debut for the club was delayed until October.
At the time, reports surfaced suggesting a “bite clause” would be inserted into his Barcelona contract to ensure he behaves himself on the field, per John Cross of the Daily Mirror. However, the leaks reveal no stipulations of that kind, nor no amounts to be paid to the Reds should Suarez win individual gongs, such as the Golden Boot or Ballon d’Or.
“The leaked documents suggest Liverpool were keen to offload the hot-headed forward as quickly as possible after that episode, as, unlike in the vast majority of deals, there were no clauses included (such as a sell-on fee or additional payment should Barca win the [UEFA] Champions League),” noted Goal.
Suarez remains well in the hunt for the La Liga Golden Boot, which is testament to his talents given the longstanding stranglehold team-mate Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo have had in these standings, per Squawka Football:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Most goals in La Liga this season: C.Ronaldo (28) L.Suárez (26) L.Messi (22) Neymar (21) K.Benzema (20) https://t.co/whOCvfU4tU3/20/2016, 8:59:22 PM
Suarez has also revealed when he signed for the club, there were some doubts about whether or not he could cut it in Catalonia.
“I dreamed of playing for Barcelona, but even I didn't believe I was good enough to be Barca's No. 9,” he revealed to Helden TV (h/t ESPN FC). Now, he’s part of the most feared attacking set-up in the history of the game alongside Messi and Neymar.
“We don't care about who scores the goals, only about the team doing well," he added. "We're all clear about our target, which is to win together. We're all happy—there is no jealousy between myself, Neymar and Messi. Everything comes naturally between us.”
As this graphic from BT Sport Football illustrates, they’re a threesome that has thrived at the highest level of the game:
BT Sport Football @btsportfootball
🔴 Messi ⚽️ Suarez 🔵 Neymar https://t.co/FiNtip9a1J3/16/2016, 9:50:52 PM
While Suarez’s talent was never in doubt when he left Anfield for La Liga, his temperament—having bitten an opponent on three occasions—was a big concern. It’s what probably prevented the Reds from getting more for his services than the £65 million they’ll eventually recoup, and it’s to Barcelona’s credit that undesirable incidents have not surfaced at the club
Perhaps he’s contented, matured or even humbled playing alongside some modern day greats of the game, but everything has aligned for Suarez at the Camp Nou.
Few footballers could have come into this Barcelona setup and had such a profound effect on their playing style. Doubts over whether he could cut it are now long gone.
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