Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 20th 2014 Contents A71
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Suarez is ready to put
his biting days behind
The Barcelona striker
was officially presented
to fans on Tuesday at an
event delayed for more
than five weeks because
of his suspension for bit-
ing an opponent at the
World Cup. Suarez said
he was ready to "erase"
his history of bad behav-
ior and start fresh with
the Catalan club.
"I say to all the fans,
don t worry, because I
won t do that anymore,"
the former Liverpool
Suarez sunk his teeth
into the shoulder of Italy
defender Giorgio Chiellini
at the World Cup in June,
earning him a four-
month ban and further
damaging his already tar-
nished reputation. The
Court of Arbitration for
Sport lessened his penal-
ty last week, allowing
him to start practice with
Barcelona on Friday and
play the final minutes of
a friendly on Monday.
The Uruguay forward
won t play a competitive
match until October.
"The suspension is
what it is, and I have to
accept it," Suarez said.
"After what happened I
didn t want to do any-
thing. I was depressed.
But while I was with my
wife and children I had
to accept reality. I asked
for forgiveness as I had
think about the present."
Suarez refused to go
into details about what
he considered was at the
root of his violent behav-
ior. He called it a "pri-
vate" issue that he was
treating with the "appro-
But the volatile former
Ajax forward did say that
after his latest bite he was
worried about his career.
"Of course I was wor-
ried, but not only about
the transfer (to
Barcelona), but also about
myself, for what I had
done. I try to erase it," he
said. "The lesson I take
from it is personal. I try
to forget it."
At 27, Suarez has accu-
mulated three multi-
match suspensions for
sinking his teeth into an
opponent. He has also
been suspended for mak-
ing racist remarks.
Unfazed by Suarez s
latest act of aggression
and focused on rebuilding
its team after a disap-
Barcelona spent big to
acquire the Premier
League s leading scorer
from last season.
BARCELONA---Barcelona and Real Madrid have
again been the biggest spenders this offseason in
the Spanish league, while defending champion
Atletico Madrid has also had to rebuild.
Beyond the top three clubs, however, there was
little action among the other 17 teams, many of which
continue to rely on short-term contracts and loan
deals to patch up holes in their squads.
Here are the top 10 signings in the Spanish league
before the start of the 2014-15 season:
1. LUIS SUAREZ (Barcelona)---Barcelona was unde-
terred by Luis Suarez s infamous bite of an Italian
opponent at the World Cup that further tarnished
his reputation and will keep him sidelined until Octo-
ber. The Catalan club paid Liverpool €81 million
($108 million) for the Premier League s leading scorer
last season. The 27-year-old Uruguay forward signed
for five years.
2. JAMES RODRIGUEZ (Real Madrid)---The mid-
fielder was the revelation of this summer s World
Cup in Brazil. His tournament-leading six goals for
Colombia earned him the Golden Boot trophy and
the attention of Real Madrid. The European Cup
winners paid Monaco €80 million ($108 million) for
the 23-year-old, who signed for six seasons.
3. ANTOINE GRIEZMANN (Atletico Madrid)---
Atletico Madrid made several signings this season
but the biggest investment was in 23-year-old France
winger Antoine Griezmann. Atletico spent €30 million
Suarez: I'll not bite again
FC Barcelona's Luis
Suarez smiles during a
press conference at his
presentation at the
Camp Nou in Barcelona,
($40 million) for the explosive forward who scored
19 goals for Real Sociedad last campaign.
4. TONI KROOS (Real Madrid)--- Midfielder Toni
Kroos helped guide Germany through its brilliant
World Cup campaign to be crowned the best team
on the globe. He then packed his bags for Real Madrid
after it lured him away from Bayern Munich with a
six-year contract and paid his €25-million ($33 million)
5. MARIO MANDZUKIC (Atletico Madrid)--- Needing
to replace its leading scorer after Diego Costa s exit,
Atletico Madrid has entrusted its attack to Mario
Mandzukic as it seeks to defend its La Liga title. The
Croatia striker moved from Bayern Munich on a €22-
million euro ($29.4-million) transfer.
6. IVAN RAKITIC (Barcelona)---Ivan Rakitic will
have big boots to fill at Barcelona, where he arrived
following the departure of Cesc Fabregas and will
play alongside Spanish internationals Andres Iniesta,
Xavi Hernandez and Sergio Busquets. The Croatia
midfielder helped Sevilla win the Europa League last
season as its team captain. Barcelona paid €21 million
($28 million) for his passing skills.
7. JAN OBLAK (Atletico Madrid)---Thibaut Courtois
was key to Atletico Madrid s title march last campaign.
With the goalkeeper gone to Chelsea, the Spanish
champions shelled out €16 million ($21.3 million) for
Slovenian goalie Jan Oblak after his Benfica won the
Portuguese league in 2013-14.
8. JEREMY MATHIEU (Barcelona)---After years of
relying on a thin defensive unit, Barcelona changed
course and reinforced its squad by signing Jeremy
Mathieu from Valencia for €20 million ($27 million)
and Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal for €19 million
($25.4 million) more. Given Vermaelen s history of
injuries, Mathieu is set to be Gerard Pique s part-
9. MARC-ANDRE TER STEGEN (Barcelona)---Victo r
Valdes protected Barcelona s goal for the past decade
when the club enjoyed its most successful era. Young
German Marc-Andre Ter Stegen has taken his place
after a €12-million ($16.3-million) deal with Borussia
10. KEYLOR NAVAS (Real Madrid)---Keylor Navas
was the best goalkeeper in Spain last season. Then
came his showing at the World Cup for Costa Rica.
Now he will compete with Spain captain Iker Casillas
for time in Real Madrid s goal after his €10-million
($13.4-million) move from Levante.
Top 10 signings for the
2014-15 Spanish League
Colombia World Cup star James Rodriguez.
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