After a dismal 2014 campaign in which our bitter rivals won the Champions League, former coach from 2013 passed away suddenly, best goalkeeper and captain in our history left, and La Liga's crown slipped from our hands on the final day of the season, it was expected by many of us that Barcelona would be planning on spending big this summer.
In recent days after the World Cup started, a rumor from two of Catalonia's major sporting newspapers suggested that Barcelona were willing to offer as much as $60 million and Chilean forward, Alexis Sanchez for Liverpool's Luis Suárez. Suárez, who's coming off of his best season in the Premier League, scored 31 goals during the 2013-2014 campaign.
As with many rumors of transfers in the summer, I'm usually skeptical and will remain as such until I've seen confirmation from our club's official social networking pages. However, at first I was excited at the prospect of a striker of Luis' caliber starting up front with the likes of Brazilian and Argentinian superstars, Neymar and Leo Messi respectively. The problem with this idea came up even more recently, after today's World Cup group match-up between Uruguay and Italy. Suárez was involved in a controversial bite to Italy's Giorgio Chiellini which did not result in either a yellow or red card. FIFA did say that they will be opening an investigation into such acts and Suárez will be punished accordingly. Suárez, who's no stranger to controversy, has three recorded bites on his resume as well as one case of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra during their match in October, 2011. Suárez was fined £40,000 and banned for eight games. On April 21, 2013, Suárez was involved in biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanović on the arm. He was banned for ten matches by the FA and did not even bother to appeal it. Suárez himself has subsequently been the main target by British media and footballing journalists. It's been bad enough to suggest that he could end up making a major blockbuster move to either Barcelona or Real Madrid for the 2014-2015 season.
It MUST be stressed that we can't have this kind of behavior at Barcelona, a club that's been historically linked to prestige and honor, not racism and disorderly conduct on and off the pitch. Not to mention, at the expense of a fantastic striker like Alexis, who's in-form talents are shining brightly with the Chilean national team in Brazil this summer. Starting Alexis with Neymar and Messi up front is more than enough to be a threat in European and Spanish competition next summer. While Barcelona fans themselves seem to be divided on this issue, let's remember Suarez' past before making sweeping judgment about his possible future with us. There's no question that he is a fantastic striker and his talent cannot be ignored. Is he worth the drama, headaches and media agitation that comes along with his skills on the pitch? I'll leave that up to you to decide.