Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 21st 2013 Contents A53
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FRANKFURT---Germany will play fel-
low World Cup finalist Cameroon in
one of its final warm-ups for the
tournament in Brazil.
The match is scheduled for June 1 in
Moenchengladbach. Germany also
plays Poland on May 13 and is looking
for an opponent for a June 6 match,
one day before departing for Brazil.
German Football Federation general
secretary Helmut Sandrock says the
coaching staff wanted Germany to
play against a "strong African team"
ahead of the tournament.
Germany s group includes another
African team, Ghana. Cameroon is in
the same group as World Cup host
Brazil and is coached by a German,
Germany s other group rivals are Por-
tugal and the United States.
Cameroon also plays Mexico and
Germany to play Cameroon in World Cup warm-up
LONDON---Only four months
after publicly pleading to leave the
club in the hope of joining Premier
League rivals Arsenal, Luis Suarez
has completed a remarkable U-
turn and signed a new long-term
contract at Liverpool.
The 26-year-old complained in
August that Liverpool had broken
an agreement allowing him to leave
after the club failed to qualify for
the Champions League. His com-
plaint came shortly after Liverpool
had rejected a transfer bid from
Arsenal for the striker.
Liverpool stood firm however and
Suarez began a dramatic period of
The Uruguay forward is the top
scorer in the Premier League this
season with 17 league goals in 11
starts, including a quadruple against
Norwich and a hat-trick against
Tipped to shine at the World Cup
next year, his form has helped Liv-
erpool climb to second in the divi-
sion, two points behind Arsenal.
"We have some great players and
the team is growing and improving
all the time," Suarez said. "I believe
I can achieve the ambitions of win-
ning trophies and playing at the
very highest level with Liverpool.
My aim is to help get us there as
quickly as possible."
Suarez missed Liverpool s first
six league games this season as he
completed a ten-match suspension
for biting Chelsea defender Branislav
It was the latest in a long line of
ugly incidents involving Suarez,
who was banned for eight matches
for racially abusing Manchester
United s Patrice Evra in October
Despite his habit for creating con-
troversy, Liverpool supporters have
remained loyal to their talisman.
"Without doubt the backing I
have received from the Liverpool
fans has influenced my decision,"
he said. "I am so proud to represent
them and go out to do my best for
them every time I pull on the shirt.
"We have a special relationship.
They have love for me and in return
I love them back. I will always do
my best for them and hopefully we
can achieve success together."
Liverpool manager Brendan
Rodgers made Suarez train alone
after his outburst in August but the
striker returned to the first-team
squad before the start of the sea-
The Reds are aiming to finish in
the Premier League s top four to
qualify for the Champions League
and could mount a challenge for
the title if the team maintains its
"This is fantastic news for every-
one associated with the club; the
team, the owners and most impor-
tantly the supporters," Rodgers said.
"Luis is a world-class talent and
securing his services is crucial for
what we are trying to achieve here.
"What s most important and
most exciting is that, at just 26
years old, his best years are still
ahead of him and we now know
we ll be seeing him reach that
potential in a Liverpool shirt."
Suarez s contract was due to
expire in 2016.
Liverpool owner John W Henry
added: "We are committed to work-
ing hard to keep our best players
and this is an indication that we
are moving in the right direction
and moving at a pace that impresses
one of the best players in world
BARCELONA---Lionel Messi crit-
icised a Barcelona vice president
yesterday for saying the Argentina
forward didn t deserve a better con-
Javier Faus, the vice president in
charge of Barcelona s finances, said
two weeks ago he didn t see a reason
to further extend Messi s contract.
Last year, the club extended the 26-
year-old Messi s contract through
"Mr Faus is a person that doesn t
know anything about football and
wants to run Barcelona like a busi-
ness, which it isn t," Messi said.
"Barcelona is the best team in the
world and deserves to be represented
by the best executives.
"I remind him that neither I nor
any of my representatives have asked
for a contract extension at any
moment, and he knows that very
Messi is Barcelona s all-time lead-
ing scorer and a four-time world
player of the year. He is in Argentina
recovering from a hamstring injury
and expected to return to Barcelona
Messi rarely speaks about the
business side of his career. This is
the first time he has openly criticised
an important board member of the
club he joined when he was 13 years
Besides a series of injuries, Messi s
season has also been marked by legal
problems. Messi and his father Jorge
are being investigated for allegedly
not paying all their taxes. Messi s
father made a payment of more than
€5 million (then US$6.6 million) on
August 14 to cover alleged back taxes
Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes
called for calm and downplayed any
conflict between the club and its
most valuable player.
"We are all pulling in the same
direction in this club," Valdes said.
Even so, it appears that a better
deal for Messi could be in the works.
Barcelona president Sandro Rosell
said on Thursday he had not spoken
to Messi about his contract, while
adding "but my door is always open.
I have no doubt that the best player
in the world deserves to be the high-
est paid." (AP)
Suarez signs new
contract with Liverpool
Liverpool's Luis Suarez,
celebrates after scoring a
goal during their English
Premier League football
match between Tottenham
Hotspur and Liverpool at
the White Hart Lane
stadium in London on
Sunday. Suarez scored two
goals and set up two
others in Liverpool's 5-0
victory. AP PHOTO
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