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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Liverpool owner says Suarez sale won't affect club's performance

Sports Shorts: Liverpool owner says Suarez sale won't affect club's performance

Last updated on: July 25, 2014 14:26 IST

Sports Shorts: Liverpool owner says Suarez sale won't affect club's performance

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Liverpool chose the right time to part ways with the prolific-but-controversial striker Luis Suarez and the Premier League side will have no trouble coping without the Uruguayan, the club's principal owner John Henry said.

Suarez joined Barcelona on a five-year-deal despite receiving a nine-match international ban and a four-month suspension from all soccer-related activities over his World Cup biting scandal.

The 27-year-old, who cost the Catalan club 81 million euros ($109 million) according to Spanish media, was the Premier League's top scorer last season with 31 goals as Liverpool ended two points behind champions ManchesterCity and earned a return to Champions League for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

"It was time for Luis and time for the club to make a break," Henry was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo.

"He brought so much to the club but we brought a lot to Luis.

"I think you will still see a very explosive Liverpool offence this season."

Suarez, who was banned for biting Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay's group stage clash with Italy on June 24, could make his La Liga debut in the El Clasico against Real Madrid on the weekend of Oct. 25-26 at the Bernabeu.

Meanwhile, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who announced his retirement from international soccer earlier this week, would be offered a contract extension soon, coach Brendan Rodgers said.

The 34-year-old talismanic midfielder quit England to focus on his commitments for the club, where he has entered the final year of his current deal.

"I am very happy that Steven is now going to commit to Liverpool and I am sure that (his contract) is something that we will look at," Rodgers said.

"He is in real good condition and I'm sure it is something that will happen at some point... I'm sure he will want it sorted out, absolutely. You never want to leave players with not too long to go on their contract.

"A lot has gone on at the club over the course of the summer. It is something I am sure will get sorted."

- NEXT: Suarez could make Barcelona debut in El Clasico


Image: Liverpool's Luis Suarez
Photographs: Stanley Chou/Getty Images

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Banned Suarez could make Barcelona debut in El Clasico

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Disgraced Uruguay striker Luis Suarez, who is serving a four-month ban for a biting incident at the World Cup, could make his Barcelona debut against Real Madrid in El Clasico in October.

La Liga announced its fixtures for the season on Thursday and the first meeting of the two Spanish giants will be on the weekend of Oct. 25-26 at Real's Bernabeu stadium.

However, Suarez would only be able to play if the match went ahead on Sunday the 26th, the day after his suspension ends.

The 27-year-old was given a nine-match international ban and suspended for four months from any football-related activities by world soccer's ruling body FIFA after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in a Group D game in Brazil in June.

Earlier this month, Suarez was transferred from Liverpool to Barca for a fee that media reports put at 81 million euros ($109.07 million).

After an initial appeal against the biting ban was rejected, Barca decided to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

If CAS decides to cut the suspension, Suarez could appear for his new club earlier.

- NEXT: Lampard joins New York City


Image: Luis Suarez of Uruguay bursts balloons
Photographs: Clive Rose/Getty Images

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Lampard joins New York City On two-year contract

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Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has signed for new Major League Soccer (MLS) club New York City FC on a two-year contract, the team said on Thursday.

Lampard became New York's second major signing following the arrival of ex-Barcelona and Spain forward David Villa to the club which will join MLS next year.

The 36-year-old Lampard left Chelsea in June after 13 years with the London club where he won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League.

"It is a very exciting challenge for me in life terms. I had a fantastic 13 years with Chelsea that I can look back with pride upon. Having seen the vision here, seeing a real long-term plan, I wanted to be part of that. I want to carry on challenging myself and be a leader not only on the pitch," Lampard told a news conference.

- NEXT: Pinto quits Costa Rica


Image: Frank Lampard
Photographs: Getty Images

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Pinto quits Costa Rica after 'sleeping with enemy'

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Coach Jorge Luis Pinto has decided to quit World Cup quarter-finalists Costa Rica because they refused to allow him to choose his backroom staff.

"I realised I would not be able to count on conditions to carry out my work," the 61-year-old Colombian said on his personal website on Thursday.

Pinto's contract ended after this month's World Cup in Brazil where rank outsiders Costa Rica reached the last eight for the first time, playing an exciting brand of fast counter-attacking football.

"It wasn't possible to reach an agreement," he added. "I ask myself, 'What use are the victories obtained in Brazil?".

Federation president Eduardo Lee confirmed at a news conference that the two parties had not managed to agree fresh terms.

Costa Rica were unbeaten in five World Cup matches before going out on penalties to the Netherlands.

Pinto said disagreements with members of his backroom team became the central issue in negotiations with Lee. "Some of my staff don't have my style. I've had differences with my staff, I want dedication and commitment," he told the news conference.

"A year and a half ago a member of my staff told president Lee to get rid of me, that with me we weren't going to the World Cup. I slept with the enemy for a year and a half.

"It hurts me to leave Costa Rica because I did an outstanding job here. I demanded the staff be dismissed and they didn't accept," said Pinto of the federation.

Lee said the people of Costa Rica "would always be grateful" to Pinto.

The Colombian, who took charge in 2011, steered the Central American nation to their fourth World Cup finals in his second spell at the helm.

- NEXT: Isner survives Ginepri test


Image: Jorge Luis Pinto
Photographs: Ian Walton/Getty Images

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Isner survives Ginepri test as seeds fall in Atlanta

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Top seed American John Isner saved two match points before edging compatriot Robby Ginepri 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5 in the second round of the Atlanta Open on Thursday.

The defending champion was set for an early exit when down 4-5 and 15-40 in the deciding third set but leant on his rocket serve to fight back, level the match at 5-5, and then break Ginepri for the first time in the contest in the following game.

Isner then disposed of the world number 281 quickly in his final service game, closing the contest with four straight aces to take his tally to 30 for the night on the Georgia hard court.

"I was a nervous wreck out there but fortunately for me I was able to hit two big serves and bring that game back to deuce and it really turned the match around," the world number 12 told reporters.

"He returns very well, that’s what he does best, and he was giving me fits on my serve tonight.

"I actually served a lot better as the match progressed, and I had to because he was returning well, and that last game, I can’t serve any better than that."

Earlier, lucky loser Thiemo De Bakker of the Netherlands recorded a big upset by beating second seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa in straight sets.

Ranked a distant 142nd in the world, the 25-year-old Dutch right-hander took down the World No 17 6-4, 7-5.


Image: John Isner of the United States plays a forehand
Photographs: Robert Prezioso/Getty Images

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