Luis Suarez ready to fight for Barcelona place and prove doubters wrong - just like Kroos, Modric and Ramos at Real Madrid

Luis Suarez ready to fight for Barcelona place and prove doubters wrong - just like Kroos, Modric and Ramos at Real Madrid
Luis Suarez ready to fight for Barcelona place and prove doubters wrong - just like Kroos, Modric and Ramos at Real Madrid

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez insists he still has plenty to offer Barcelona and has warned against writing him off, using a trio from rivals Real Madrid as examples of players who successfully bounced back from similar criticism.

After a first trophyless season in 12 years, Barcelona are expected to make drastic changes to their squad this summer, with much of the old guard being allowed to leave the club.

Suarez, 33, is thought to be one of those players after Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu excluded the forward from his list of eight names that would not be leaving the Camp Nou during the off-season.

Since joining Barcelona from Liverpool in 2014, Suarez has been a resounding success for the Catalan giants, scoring 198 goals in 283 appearances across all competitions and playing a key role in four La Liga titles, four Copa del Reys, and the Champions League and Club World Cup titles in 2015. He is Barcelona's third-highest goalscorer in history.

However, the 2019/20 campaign was the least prolific of Suarez's Barca career, the Uruguayan scoring 21 goals, including 16 in La Liga.

It has led to talk of decline, but Suarez has moved to defend himself and used Real Madrid as a case in point after Barca's great rivals were unceremoniously dumped out of the 2018/19 Champions League by Ajax only to bounce back and clinch La Liga the following season.

"I remember that in Madrid, the year that Ajax eliminated them from the Champions League, they said that [Toni] Kroos was finished, they wanted to retire [Luka] Modric and they said that [Sergio] Ramos was a disaster. The following year, everything went better for them and again they formed a legendary team," Suarez said in an interview with El Pais.

For so long Barcelona's undisputed No 9 and Lionel Messi's trusted sidekick, Suarez said he wants to remain at the club and fight for his place, even if that means he is no longer the automatic first choice striker.

"Throughout my career I have accepted to be a substitute. I would have no problem in being one again. The competition is healthy and if the coach considers that I should do it from the bench I have no problem," he said.

"I would like to stay at Barca as long as they want to count on me. I want to contribute. I have felt the support of the people since I arrived and that motivates me a lot.

"No one at the club has told me that they want to be without my services. I want the best for the team and my intention is to continue."

Change is already afoot at Barcelona, who moved swiftly to sack manager Quique Setien and sporting director Eric Abidal just days after the 8-2 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich.

Ronald Koeman has been installed as the new manager and the Dutchman quickly added former Barca player Henrik Larsson to his coaching staff.

Updated: August 22, 2020 04:37 PM

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