11 July 2014 14:01
Ahead of his departure from Liverpool to Barcelona, a sorrowful Luis Suarez revealed he leaves Anfield with “a heavy heart”.
After much media speculation, it was confirmed on Friday that the Uruguay international is to sign for the Spanish giants on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee, subject to him completing a medical next week.
Suarez arrived at Liverpool from Ajax in January 2011, with his spell at the club punctuated by a combination of breathtaking displays and controversial incidents.
The 27-year-old netted 82 goals in 133 appearances for Liverpool, but received suspensions for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra and biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
Suarez made headlines for the wrong reasons again at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil last month, sinking his teeth into the shoulder of Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, an offence which earned him a four-month ban from all football.
An appeal against that sanction was rejected by FIFA on Thursday, meaning Suarez will be unable to take to the field for his new club until late October.
“It is with a heavy heart that I leave Liverpool for a new life and new challenges in Spain,” he said in a statement.
“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.
“I hope you can all understand why I have made this decision. This club did all they could to get me to stay, but playing and living in Spain, where my wife’s family live, is a lifelong dream and ambition. I believe now the timing is right.
“I wish Brendan Rodgers and the team well for the future. The club is in great hands and I’m sure will be successful again next season.
“I am very proud I have played my part in helping to return Liverpool to the elite of the Premier League and in particular back into the Champions League.
“Thank you again for some great moments and memories. You’ll Never Walk Alone.”