• La Liga

Barca must learn from Liverpool to get best from Suarez

ESPN staff
August 2, 2014
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Barcelona president Josep-Maria Bartomeu has told the Times the La Liga club must learn from Liverpool's approach if they are to get the best out of troubled striker Luis Suarez.

Brendan Rodgers was a key figure in helping the Suarez recover from several controversial incidents during his Anfield career; the Uruguayan was fined and banned for racially abusing Patrice Evra in 2011 and was given a 10-match suspension for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in April 2013.

Suarez has since left Liverpool for the Nou Camp in a deal worth £75 million, yet controversy still shrouds the forward. His four-month ban from all football-related activity for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup did not affect his sale to the Spanish giants, but Bartomeu knows the club must follow Liverpool's example if Suarez is to shine again.

"He knows he did wrong," Bartomeu told the newspaper. "That is why he apologised. Everyone knows that what he did was wrong.

"For us, that is enough. We want him to perform as he did at Liverpool -- and let's not forget that last season he acted perfectly. We have to learn from what Liverpool did.

"At La Masia, we do not just produce players. We create people, too. They grow with the values that we teach them.

"When we buy players, it is one of our commitments and obligations that they act in the way the club demands. We want to win, yes, but we feel we can do that while still being moral."

Suarez's transfer has topped a troublesome year for Barca. The club attracted criticism over the scandal surrounding Neymar's transfer, which ultimately led to the resignation of Bartomeu's predecessor Sandro Rossell.

They were also hit with a worldwide transfer ban - which has since been suspended - by FIFA last April after they were found guilty of breaching transfer regulations. However, Bartomeu insists lessons have been learned.

Bartomeu added: "We have learnt a lot this past year. A lot of the things that have happened have not been positive, but in a sense they have all been good experiences, because they have informed what we will do in the future.

"Maybe we feel that in some aspects off the pitch [our image has suffered]. The problem with FIFA and the young players, the issue with Neymar. Maybe our image has suffered for these things. But you have to learn when things are not as good as they can be, and we have."

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