Quote of the day: “I love Liverpool, but if there is a chance of playing somewhere else … I suffered too much as a kid to get where I am to be attacked unfairly by the English press. They haven’t appreciated me as a player, they’ve just judged my attitude. – Luis Suarez
Runner-up: Luis Suarez is not for sale. Neither Luis nor his representatives have communicated these feelings directly to Liverpool Football Club. The club remains supportive of Luis and we expect him to honour his contract.” – Liverpool official club statement
Liverpool prepared to sell Luis Suarez for club-record £50 million-plus (Andy Hunter, The Guardian) Liverpool will consider selling Luis Suárez but only for a club-record fee of more than £50m. Their leading striker is intent on ending a turbulent two-and-a-half-year career in English football. Suárez declared on Friday that he wants to leave Liverpool when giving a third interview in two days expressing disillusionment with life in England. He had previously encouraged interest from Real Madrid by stating it would be hard to reject the Spanish club, then suggested it is time for a “change of environment” before taking matters further and announcing his desire to quit the Premier League.
Liverpool furious with Suarez and insist want-away striker is not for sale (Mike Walters, The Mirror) Luis Suarez faces a Liverpool backlash after confirming he wants to quit Anfield. Kop darling Suarez claimed he is being hounded out of English football – a clear stab in the back for Reds manager Brendan Rodgers, who stood by his wayward striker after he was hit by a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
Brazil v England
Brazil struggle to get show on the road with World Cup round the corner (Fernando Duarte, The Guardian) As distractions go Brazil have encountered the perfect storm at the start of a crucial few weeks on and off the pitch. Instead of talking about the challenges presented by friendlies against England and France as a warmup for the Confederations Cup, the Seleção players and officials have spent the past few days being quizzed about star man Neymar’s €60m (£51m) departure to Barcelona, a bitter tug-of-war between the Brazilian football federation and Bayern Munich and, last but not least, the furore caused by the injunction filed by the Rio de Janeiro State Prosecution Service that, for a few hours, turned Roy Hodgson’s visit to Rio into a literal walk on the beach.
Roy Hodgson’s England enjoy lesson in technique from Brazil’s beach boys (Daniel Taylor, The Guardian) Walking along Copacabana beach, Roy Hodgson’s players stopped to watch one of the games on a stretch of sand where there are almost as many goalposts as palm trees. There were boys and girls from thefavelas playing beach volley, largely oblivious to the fact they had a group of Premier League footballers in their audience. By the end Theo Walcott was clapping. “Kids six or seven using their shoulders to play beach volley … I can’t even do that myself.”
Joga Bonito Barnes
John Barnes recalls scoring his goal at the Maracana like an ‘out of body experience’ (Jonathan Liew, The Telegraph) What happened next, and specifically what happened in the final minute of the first half, would pass into legend. Strangely, though, Barnes remembers very little about the goal that would make his name. “I remember the reality of what actually happened,” he says, “but in terms of thinking about the goal and how I scored the goal, I can’t remember it. I don’t remember anything that I actually did; all the twists. “When you score a goal by dribbling, from my point of view you don’t remember it, because it is instinctive. When you score a free-kick goal, you remember thinking what you wanted to do. But you don’t do that with an instinctive goal. It was like I was having an out-of-body experience.”
Old Trafford Going Under The Kinfe
Manchester United to rip up pitch and adopt synthetic playing surface at Old Trafford (Mark Ogden, The Telegraph) Following claims by Sir Alex Ferguson that the pitch “collapsed” last December as a result of a prolonged rainfall in Manchester, the Old Trafford ground-staff were forced to work intensively on the surface during the final five months of the season in order to restore the turf to a suitable standard. With the current surface dating back 10 full seasons to the start of the 2003-04 campaign, United have now enlisted pitch specialists Desso to overhaul the Old Trafford pitch this summer.
Craig Bellamy’s Autobiography Serialisation
Bellamy on Gary Speeds’ death and how Kenny Daglish got him through it (The Mirror extracts) Have you heard about Speedo?” he said. “Shay Given’s rung our agent to say Speedo’s committed suicide,” “F*** off,” I said. “No chance.” “I’ve heard he’s hung himself,” Kieron said. “F****** no chance,” I said again. “You know what Twitter and the internet are like. It’s bulls**t.”