FC Barcelona have clinched the signing of Liverpool FC forward Luis Suárez after the Uruguayan international agreed a five-year contract as part of a reported €81m transfer.
Suárez, 27, ends his three-and-a-half-year stay with Liverpool, where he was voted the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year in a final season in England that yielded 31 top-flight goals and a share of the ESM Golden Shoe with Real Madrid CF's Cristiano Ronaldo. Suárez will now look to form a successful partnership with the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar at the four-time European Cup winners.
"It is with a heavy heart that I leave Liverpool for a new life and new challenges in Spain," said Suárez, set to complete formalities on the move next week. "Both me and my family have fallen in love with this club and with the city, but most of all I have fallen in love with the incredible fans. You have always supported me and we, as a family, will never forget it – we will always be Liverpool supporters."
Suárez took his first steps in European football with FC Groningen, where his ten goals in 29 Dutch Eredivisie games attracted the attention of AFC Ajax, whom he joined in 2007. In his third term in Amsterdam, the former Club Nacional de Football striker was named Dutch Player of the Year after finishing 2009/10 as the division's 35-goal leading marksman. Suárez eventually left Amsterdam ArenA for Liverpool in January 2011 having registered 81 times in 110 Eredivisie outings.
During his subsequent stint at Anfield, the Salto native lifted the 2012 English League Cup and racked up 69 goals in 110 top-flight matches, ending the 2013/14 campaign as the Premier League's top scorer, the Reds finishing second in the table. A Copa América winner with Uruguay in 2011, Suárez has earned 79 caps for his country while notching 41 goals. He is currently serving a FIFA ban.
Luis Enrique's Barcelona – who recently added midfielder Ivan Rakitić as well as goalkeepers Claudio Bravo and Marc-André ter Stegen – will join Liverpool in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League group stage draw.
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