Luis Suarez among the hits of Liverpool players to join either Barcelona or Real Madrid

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Following Philippe Coutinho’s €160m move from Liverpool to Barcelona, we’ve looked at the impact others have made having left The Kop for Catalonia or Real Madrid.

STEVE McMANAMAN 

Club: Real Madrid; Fee: Free; Date: 1999-2003

The Englishman was one of few success stories for Brits abroad when he signed for Madrid in 1999. He clocked up 94 appearances for Real, bagging eight goals in the process.

Not only did McManaman become the first Englishman to win the Champions League with a foreign side (1999-2000), he also became the first man to do so twice (2001-2002) – his stunning volley in the win over Valencia in 2000 is still replayed in the Real museum.

The winger managed to hold down a regular starting place in a team, which also included Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Raul and Guti.

The signing of David Beckham to the Bernabeu in 2003 signaled the end of Mcmanaman’s career and Spain and he would see out his career in the Premier League for Manchester City.

Verdict: HIT

Brit abroad: Mcmanaman

Brit abroad: Mcmanaman

MICHAEL OWEN

Club: Real Madrid; Fee: £8m; Date: 2004 – 2005

It took Owen just 15 minutes to open his Premier League account, scoring for Liverpool against Wimbledon aged just 17 years 144 days.

Regarded as one of The Red’s best-ever players, Owen would go on to score 118 goals in 216 Premier League games in all competitions – winning the League Cup (2000-01, 2002-03), FA Cup (2000-01) and UEFA Cup (2000-01).

His move to Real Madrid would have to go some distance to repeat the individual success he had at Anfield. In an injury-hit spell, the England international would play only 46 times for Real Madrid, scoring 16 goals.

The Ballon d’Or winner, failed to nail down a starting place at Real and his spell in Spain ended trophy-less by the time he returned to the Premier League with Newcastle in 2005.

Verdict: MISS

Short spell: Michael Owen

Short spell: Michael Owen

JAVIER MASCHERANO

Club: Barcelona; Fee: £22m; Date: 2007-present

The midfield general would become somewhat of an unsung hero during his three-and-a-half year spell at Anfield, despite not picking up any silverware with Liverpool.

His individual performances caught the eye of then-Barcelona-boss Pep Guardiola who signed him after speaking with Mascherano’s fellow Argentine, Lionel Messi.

The tough tacking midfielder-turned-defender has won a plethora of trophies since his switch to the Spain. His trophy cabinet includes La Liga (x4), Copa del Rey (x4), Spanish super cup (x3) and two Champions League winners’ medals.

Oddly enough, the arrival of Philippe Coutinho looks to have signalled the end of his Barcelona career as the Brazilian looks set to be handed Mascherano’s number 14 shirt as he prepares for a move to Hebei Fortune in China.

Verdict: HIT

Unsung hero: Javier Mascherano

Unsung hero: Javier Mascherano

ALVARO ARBELOA

Club: Real Madrid; Fee: £5m; Date: 2009-2016

The reported £5 million fee Madrid paid for the defender in 2009 may seem like a snip, but it’s nothing compared to the £2.6million the Reds paid to bring him from Deportivo La Coruna in 2007.

The Spaniard was thrown in at the deep end in his first game for Liverpool and given the task of stopping Lionel Messi, on his debut in the Champions League. Liverpool won the game 2-1 and advanced through to the next round on away goals following 2-2 aggregate victory.

Arbeloa became a regular for Rafa Benitez over the next two years, making 66 appearances (scoring twice) before his switch to Madrid. He went on to make 153 appearances, winning La Liga and the Champions League (twice) during his time in Spain.

Verdict: HIT

Bargain buy: Álvaro Arbeloa

Bargain buy: Alvaro Arbeloa

XABI ALONSO

Club: Real Madrid; Fee: £30m; Date: 2009-2014

He’ll always be remembered fondly by Liverpool fans for his role in the memorable 2005 Champions League victory against AC Milan. The Spaniard endeared himself to the Kop during his time at Liverpool with his range of passing and goal scoring ability.

He also won the FA Cup before falling out with manager Rafa Benitez after the Spanish boos moved to sign Gareth Barry and it led to a move to Madrid where won both La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey (twice) during a successful five-year spell.

Very much a key-man at Real, Alonso started every game in the league and Champions League in his first season in Spain.

Alonso earned the respect of fans and players alike during his time at both clubs with Steven Gerrard left devastated with his departure to La Liga.

Verdict: HIT

Fan favourite: Xabi Alonso

Fan favourite: Xabi Alonso

LUIS SUAREZ

Club: Barcelona; Fee: £70m; Date: 2014-present

After a successful four years at Anfield, the controversial forward would leave for a mega-money move to Barcelona.

During his time with Liverpool the Uruguayan scored 69 times for the Reds in 110 appearances and spearhead their title charge in the 2013/14 campaign but despite dazzling individual performances the only silverware he won was the league cup in 2012.

Since leaving Liverpool Suarez has become one of the deadliest strikers in the world scoring 96 goals in 110 appearances. He’s also won La Liga (2014-15, 2015-16), Copa del Rey (2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17), Spanish Super Cup (2016) and Champions League (2014-15).

Verdict: HIT

Star signing: Luis Suarez

Star signing: Luis Suarez

Most popular

Related Tags

Why Jurgen Klopp and Lionel Messi are winners from Philippe Coutinho's Barcelona move

Alex Rea 9/01/2018
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

After a summer-long pursuit, six days is all Barcelona required in the New Year to finally get their man.

Philippe Coutinho has joined the Catalan giants after Liverpool agreed to sell at £142million.

The 25-year-old was unveiled as a Blaugrana player on Monday although his debut will be some three weeks away as he recovers from a thigh injury.

In a transfer of such magnitude there are numerous winners and losers and so we take a look at three of each.

WINNERS

Jurgen Klopp

Bare with me on this.

It’s been noted the German ultimately had the final say on whether Coutinho remained or not.

Given the trust bestowed by club’s owners and supporters, leaving such a sanction to Klopp would make complete sense because there is no one better positioned to make the decision.

While Coutinho is a supremely gifted footballer and one statistically so important to the Reds, the contextual element of keeping a player against his will could be far more damaging than letting him leave.

The Reds require momentum to ensure Champions League football is secured for next season and avoiding negativity both inside and outside the club is crucial.

Ultimately, he has to manage the team and the dressing room, any imbalance could knock Liverpool off their stride.

Don’t forget, the Reds boss has previous for letting stars leave, think Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich, and there should be no confusion that a quality player isn’t necessarily an indispensable one.

No Klopp strop: The German boss with Coutinho

No Klopp strop: The German boss with Coutinho

Josep Maria Bartomeu

A summer backlash from members of the board, supporters and even players left the Barcelona president in an uneasy position.

A failed move for Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti was damaging, Neymar’s exit to the Parisians proved disastrous while question marks over Lionel Messi’s contract extension disturbed and the initial moves for Coutinho were denied.

But with Barca sitting atop La Liga, Messi’s new deal confirmed and Coutinho signed, the situation is looking decidedly more rosy for Bartomeu.

The club’s lack of success in the market hit the team hard with many said to have felt cheated by Bartomeu’s regime.

Completing the signature of their No1 target, regardless of the exponential fee involved, is a significant statement.

Job well done: Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu

Job well done: Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu

Lionel Messi

Few were as hurt by the exit of Neymar more than Messi. A perfect partner on the pitch and a close friend away from it, the South American duo alongside Luis Suarez formed the most deadly attacking trio in history.

Replacing him was always going to be an impossible task and predictably the creative burden has fallen squarely on Messi.

Granted, he’s not just shouldered the pressure but embraced it also but with Coutinho almost certainly set for a role in midfield, the extra creative avenue will enable the Argentine to attack in deeper in the opposition box.

The passing chain of command will see a spine of Sergio Busquets-Coutinho-Messi and that will give not just Barca added support, but the main man Messi, too.

New partner in crime: Lionel Messi

New partner in crime: Lionel Messi

LOSERS

Andres Iniesta

In the short term an aging player will be afforded rest in the league to challenge in Europe allowing Coutinho the rest of the campaign to settle in at the club pressure free.

Beyond that, Iniesta’s days are numbered.

There can be no doubt the Brazilian is his heir apparent despite all proclamations he is happy to play anywhere.

For all his quality, the 33-year-old Iniesta has started to tire and ushering in a new era with Coutinho will see the Spaniard pushed out the first-team fold.

Ernesto Valverde’s variety means he can rotate between three or four roles in the middle and front line for now, but it will be fascinating to see when fit where Coutinho starts for the Catalan giants.

Days are numbered: Andres Iniesta

Days are numbered: Andres Iniesta

Roberto Firmino

From super suave Samba moves for goal celebrations to matching bright white teeth, Coutinho and Firmino’s on-pitch chemistry hallmarked a squad lacking talent in the aftermath of the 2013/14 season.

Together day in and day out, their friendship away from the pitch more than assisted their understanding on it.

For an attacker, Coutinho’s incredible passing ability is a gift and the telepathy between the two allowed for a free-flowing and dynamic Liverpool attack.

No player in the current Reds fold will feel Coutinho’s exit more than his Brazilian counterpart.

Breaking up: Firmino and Coutinho

Breaking up: Firmino and Coutinho

Liverpool supporters

No individual player or manager will be more gutted than the collective Anfield support, however.

While the manner of how maneuvered his dream move will have infuriated the masses, it can’t tarnish the otherworldly displays he produced.

During a talent-downturn after the 2013/14 title challenging squad was dismantled, Coutinho was the sole player exhibiting world-class ability.

His thunderous long-range strikes and wizardry with the ball at his feet will be sorely missed.

Gone but not forgotten: A fan holds up a placard

Gone but not forgotten: A fan holds up a placard

Most popular

Related Tags

Related Sections

Philippe Coutinho hopes Liverpool fans understand move to Barcelona

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Waving goodbye: Philippe Coutinho

New Barcelona signing Philippe Coutinho has told Liverpool fans he hopes they understand why he left for the Nou Camp in a £142million switch.

The 25-year-old Brazilian’s five-year stint at Anfield ended at the weekend when Barca finally struck an agreement with the Reds, making Coutinho the second most-expensive player of all time after they were paid an initial £105m up front.

Liverpool had rejected Barca’s bids last summer, despite Coutinho’s desire to force through the transfer, but having finally sealed his move in this window the outgoing playmaker has posted a message to Reds supporters on his Instagram account.

“Since the moment I arrived in Liverpool, me and my family have been made to feel so welcome and have made so many friends,” he wrote.

“On the pitch and off the pitch, we have experienced the beauty of this club and its fans. In turn, I hope I have delivered memories and moments that have brought happiness to the Liverpool supporters.

“Moving to Liverpool, I knew the club’s greatness and history but what I did learn during my time was the unique heart and soul of the place. It has its own personality and character.

“I leave Liverpool because Barcelona is a dream for me. Liverpool was a dream that I was fortunate enough to realise and I have given five years of my life to it. A career on the pitch only lasts for so long and to play for Barcelona as well as Liverpool is something I want to experience and enjoy while I am blessed enough to be able to do so.

“I hope the supporters understand that choosing to experience something new is not about diminishing their importance to me or the club’s importance. Nothing will ever diminish that in my heart.

“I wish Jurgen (Klopp) and the team nothing but joy and success for the rest of this season and beyond. This is an amazing team and they are getting better and better all the time.”

Coutinho ended the post by addressing Reds supporters directly, adding: “I can never thank you enough for what you have given me during this time and no matter where I go in the world, for the rest of my life, I will always cherish Liverpool in my heart. You, the club and the city will always be a part of me.”

Barcelona’s latest signing was unveiled on Monday but a thigh injury that kept him out of Liverpool’s last two games will also delay his debut for his new club.

In another Instagram post that contained multiple images of him in a Barca shirt, Coutinho said: “A Dream Come True thank you Barcelona. I can’t wait to start my journey with you!”

Provided by Press Association Sport

Most popular

Related Tags