Setien hails Suarez after reaching Barca landmark

By Sports Desk July 09, 2020

Barcelona head coach Quique Setien lauded Luis Suarez after the star forward moved third on the club's all-time goalscoring list thanks to his match-winning display against Espanyol.

Suarez surpassed Ladislau Kubala with his 195th Barca goal from 278 appearances in Wednesday's 1-0 win over LaLiga rivals Espanyol, who were relegated as a result.

Only two players have scored more goals for Barca – superstar captain Lionel Messi (630) and Cesar (232) – following his 56th-minute strike at Camp Nou midweek.

And Setien was full of praise for Suarez, who arrived from Premier League giants Liverpool in 2014.

"It wasn't difficult to figure out Luis Suarez was eventually going to score goals again as he continues to play games," Setien told reporters.

"When you're not playing for a while you need time to get back into your rhythm. That's something you only get through minutes on the pitch.

"He knows how to score goals and he's always showed that throughout his career. He did it, which moves him up to third in Barcelona's all-time scoring list and you can't take that away from him."

Barca moved within a point of bitter rivals and leaders Real Madrid, who have a game in hand as they prepare for Friday's match against Deportivo Alaves.

Setien's Barca are nine games unbeaten following back-to-back wins, though they were far from their best after Sunday's 4-1 rout at Villarreal.

"I think we certainly weren't brilliant," Setien said. "It was a difficult match. We managed to win and we'd all like to repeat, of course, the same performance we produced against Villarreal but it's not easy.

"You always need to take your opponents into account. In any case, I'm very happy with the win because I watch practically all the matches in LaLiga and I see a lot of teams are winning 1-0 and finding it a struggle. It's a very level playing field right now."

Barca substitute Ansu Fati was sent off after coming on at the start of the second half, while Espanyol's Pol Lozano was also dismissed.

Five minutes after coming on teenager Fati was heading off again, a VAR review upgrading his caution to a red card as he was punished when a high right foot caught Fernando Calero.

"He was very humble afterwards," Setien added on Fati. "He came to talk to me. He felt very bad about what happened.

"He wasn't provoked. He went in to win the ball. After I watched it, the challenge looked harder than it actually was. It's a moment that could have been avoided. When he goes to win the ball I saw he tried to fold his leg back so there wouldn't be any contact, but the decision was made.

"He'll be affected by this and we'll see what the punishment is but it's a moment that I don't blame him for."

Related items

  • Mancini's Italy end four-year absence from FIFA rankings elite Mancini's Italy end four-year absence from FIFA rankings elite

    Roberto Mancini has led resurgent Italy back into the top 10 of the FIFA rankings after a four-year absence.

    The Azzurri are four-time World Cup winners but last featured in the higher echelons in the August 2016 rankings.

    Failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup during Gian Piero Ventura's reign demonstrated their decline, but Mancini, who turned 56 on Friday, has engineered an impressive turnaround in fortunes.

    Italy were 20th on the FIFA list when Mancini took over as head coach in May 2018, but winning all 10 of their Euro 2020 qualifying matches not only re-established them as a major force, it has seen their ranking soar.

    Italy have reached the Nations League finals and are now unbeaten in 22 matches, their best such run since the year they won the World Cup in 2006.

    They enjoyed an 11-game winning streak within the current sequence and will be seeded for the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

    Mancini praised his squad's efforts earlier this month, saying on RAI Sport: "The players have done a great job because it has not always been easy.

    "We have tried to become more offensive with our play. You have to have the right mentality to do so and have a style of play that all the great teams have."

    Italy climbed from 12th to 10th place in the new rankings, while Mexico also jumped two places, rising to ninth.

    For Mexico the wait to rejoin the top 10 had been even longer than it was for Italy - with a nine-year span since they last featured.

    Belgium remain top of the list, ahead of France and Brazil.

     

    FIFA rankings top 10: 1 Belgium, 2 France, 3 Brazil, 4 England, 5 Portugal, 6 Spain, 7 Argentina, 8 Uruguay, 9 Mexico, 10 Italy.

  • Rumour Has It: Juve eye Man Utd's Van de Beek, Liverpool make bid for Ajax star Rumour Has It: Juve eye Man Utd's Van de Beek, Liverpool make bid for Ajax star

    Is Donny van de Beek already heading for an Old Trafford exit?

    Van de Beek made the move from Ajax to Manchester United at the start of the season.

    But he is reportedly wanted by Juventus in Italy.

     

    TOP STORY – VAN DE BEEK WANTED IN TURIN

    Juventus are plotting a move for Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek, according to Calciomercato.

    Van de Beek only swapped Eredivisie powerhouse Ajax for United at the start of the season, but he has struggled to cement a spot in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's XI.

    Serie A champions are reportedly trying to reunite Van de Beek with former Ajax team-mate Matthijs de Ligt in Turin.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Corriere dello Sport report Liverpool have submitted a bid for Ajax centre-back Perr Schuurs. Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are injured at Anfield.

    Chelsea are eyeing a move for Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez ahead of a 2021 transfer, says the Here We Go Podcast.

    - TodoFichajes claims Marseille star Florian Thauvin has agreed to join Milan on a free transfer.

    United have joined Premier League champions Liverpool in the race for Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze, according to La Razon. The 21-year-old has also impressed Chelsea.

    - Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu wants to join United, reports Bild journalist Christian Falk. The Turkey international is out of contract at the end of the season. Juve, Atletico and Inter have all been linked.

    - Football Insider says Arsenal are interested in signing Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai on loan in January and loaning him back to the Austrian champions.

  • Diego Maradona dies: Argentina and Napoli legend laid to rest in private ceremony Diego Maradona dies: Argentina and Napoli legend laid to rest in private ceremony

    Diego Maradona was buried in a private funeral after thousands gathered on the streets of Buenos Aires to mourn the Argentina and Napoli great.

    Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata head coach Maradona – arguably football's greatest ever player – died of natural causes at the age of 60 on Wednesday.

    Mourners and police clashed at the wake of Maradona as large crowds took to the streets of the Argentina capital to bid farewell to the football legend on Thursday.

    Maradona's coffin was draped in the Argentina flag at Casa Rosada – the presidential mansion where his body laid in honour amid three days of national mourning – before being transported to a cemetery.

    Away from the chaotic scenes, a private ceremony was held for Maradona's burial at the Jardines de Bella Vista cemetery on the outskirts of the city, which is reportedly where his parents were laid to rest.

    Maradona was discharged from hospital a fortnight ago following brain surgery, having undergone a routine operation for a subdural haematoma after being admitted to hospital due to concerns over anaemia and dehydration.

    The captain and inspiration behind Argentina's World Cup success in 1986 before going on to coach his country at the 2010 showpiece, Maradona had been hospitalised just days after turning 60.

    He appeared in a fragile state when he briefly made an appearance as his Gimnasia side played a match on the evening of his birthday last month.

    Maradona won 91 caps for Argentina between 1977 and 1994, scoring 34 goals at international level.

    He started his career with Argentinos Juniors before joining Boca Juniors and went on to play for Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys before returning to Boca in 1995.

    Maradona had the best years of his club career in Italy, playing a massive part in Napoli winning the Serie A title in the 1986-87 and 1989-90 seasons.

    Playmaker Maradona also lifted the UEFA Cup with Napoli in 1989 and he won three trophies during his time at Barca – including the Copa del Rey in 1983.

    Maradona also had stints in charge of Textil Mandiyu, Racing Club, Al-Wasl, Fujairah and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico before being appointed by Gimnasia last year.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.