Tuesday 24 April 2018

‎It's official - Luis Suarez was right to leave Liverpool: Five things we learned from Barca's Champions League win

Luis Suarez celebrates scoring the second goal for Barcelona
Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach
Luis Suarez celebrates scoring the second goal for Barcelona Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach

Luis Suarez was right to leave Liverpool - and four other lessons from Barca's 3-1 win over Juve in Berlin.

It's official - Suarez was right to leave Liverpool

Luis Suarez may have left the Premier League with a damaged reputation but this was emphatic proof he was right to leave Liverpool. ‎His desire to win trophies has been rewarded with the ultimate accolade in terms of European club competition and he will feel vindicated, with his absence at Anfield this season so keenly felt. After only one league cup win in the last three years for Liverpool, he has already claimed the Champions League, La Liga and Copa Del Rey in under 12 months at the Nou Camp. This was his first goal in five weeks but arguably the most important of his career.

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 06: Andrea Pirlo of Juventus looks dejected after the UEFA Champions League Final between Juventus and FC Barcelona at Olympiastadion on June 6, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Juve could struggle to bounce back

‎Juventus have become the first team to lose six Champions League finals, an unwanted record in their illustrious history. They did not deserve to win, but this was far from the one-sided contest many had predicted. Lionel Messi was not allowed to wreak the carnage he has delivered for so many years and Juventus' second half response was admirable. However, manager Massimiliano Allegri is now facing the break-up of his team with Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal expected to leave, while midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo could opt for a move to the MLS.


Pogba would grace the Premier League

Coming to a Premier League ground near you next season? Paul Pogba only enhanced his reputation at the Olympiastadion and it's pretty clear the Juventus midfielder will be one of the most sought after players this summer. His agent Mino Raiola has already claimed Juve have turned down offers and his departure from Manchester United appears one of Sir Alex Ferguson's final, and most inexplicable, mistakes. United may attempt to bring him back while there could also be interest from Manchester City and Chelsea, plus many other big clubs in Europe.


‎Iniesta is still the puppet-master

All the pre-match hype surrounded Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Carlos Tevez but the enduring brilliance of Andres Iniesta, the puppet master of the Barcelona midfield, still cannot be underestimated. Iniesta will lose his midfield partner Xavi this summer but his qualities remain undimmed and he was a joy to watch in Berlin. His involvement for the opening goal was sublime and he is the beating heart of Luis Enrique's team. When he finally retires he will be sadly missed, and not just by Barcelona.

Sky Sports 1 ITV 0

There was another fierce battle on Saturday night - and there was a clear winner. Sky Sports came out well on top in the battle of the pundits, with ITV's decision to employ Barcelona midfielder Alex Song proving a ‎huge error of judgement. Song was an interesting choice but struggled in front of the cameras, though former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes is improving with each appearance. However, the Sky team of Graeme Souness, Thierry Henry and Jamie Carragher - all Champions League winners - were vastly superior.

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