There is no question that Barcelona have the figures in terms of goals scored to back up the financial figures involved in Luis Suárez’s new contract keeping him at Camp Nou until 2021.
A remarkable haul of 35 goals in 34 Liga games this calendar year alone is justification of the Spanish champions’ decision to award a fresh five-year deal to a player who turns 30 next month. The Blaugrana will just be happy in the knowledge they can count on Suárez’s breathtaking strike rate for the foreseeable future after the Uruguayan put pen to paper.
Luis Suárez in 2016
Liga: 34 games – 35 goals
Copa del Rey/Spanish Super Cup: 5 games – 6 goals
UEFA Champions League: 9 games – 5 goals
“I am totally happy because I am where I want to be,” said Suárez who, incredibly, has scored 97 times in 116 games since joining Barça from Liverpool in 2014, collecting eight major trophies in the process. “I will never lose my ambition and enthusiasm for winning trophies and scoring goals.”
The former Ajax ace got off to a flier in his first campaign in Catalonia, bringing added spice to Barcelona’s front line as part of a lethal new ‘MSN’ attack with Lionel Messi and Neymar. He hit 25 goals in 43 matches, most memorably the second in their 3-1 win over Juventus in the 2015 UEFA Champions League final.
He eclipsed that tally in the next term, however, notching 59 times in 53 outings, with his 40 Liga strikes (from a mere 35 appearances) earning him the ‘Pichichi’ top scorer prize as well as a second European Golden Shoe as leading marksman in Europe’s big five leagues.
It is astonishing to consider that he has been at Barça for only two and a half years yet is already closing in on the club’s most prolific all-time scorers. Eleven more goals and he ousts his current coach Luis Enrique from the top ten. Presently his Liga total stands at 66 from 76, with local rivals Espanyol next up on Sunday.