Barcelona star Luis Suarez admits desire to play alongside Neymar and Lionel Messi again

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi (C), Luis Suarez (L) and former Barcelona star Neymar.

Barcelona forward Luis Suarez has admitted a desire to play alongside Brazil star Neymar at the Blaugrana once again.

The Paris Saint-Germain marquee signing who jumped ship from the Catalan side for a world record fee of €222 million in 2017 is set to be shipped out, according to various reports.

Barcelona is suggested to be one of the potential destinations for the 27-year-old.

Currently playing for Uruguay at the Copa America, Suarez admitted that seasons spent playing alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar were some of the best of his life, and it’s something he wants to experience again.

“I was privileged to fulfil one of the best years of my life as a football player at Barcelona next to the best in the world, Messi, and the second-best in the world, Neymar,” the Uruguay international told RAC1 on Monday.

“For me, it was one of the best moments I’ve ever lived, won the treble.”

Suarez added: “Who would not want to enjoy players like Ney?

“But he belongs to PSG and these are things that are always talked about during the market.”

Globo Esporte reported that Barcelona are willing to spend €100 million on the Brazilian and could add Samuel Umtiti, Ivan Rakitic and Ousmane Dembele in the deal.

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Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho produces stunning display for Brazil

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Brazil playmaker Philippe Coutinho

A brace from Philippe Coutinho handed hosts Brazil a winning start to the Copa America on Friday in a 3-0 victory over Bolivia as the absence of superstar Neymar was quickly forgotten.

Barcelona’s Coutinho scored from the penalty spot early in the second half and added a close-range header three minutes later.

Substitute Everton netted a sensational third five minutes from time to clinch a Group A victory for coach Tite’s tournament favorites in Sao Paulo.

The build-up to the competition had been dominated by Neymar’s woes, firstly when he was accused of rape by a Brazilian model, and then when he damaged ankle ligaments in a friendly last week, forcing him out of the Copa.

If Brazil’s first half performance was anything to go by, the Paris Saint-Germain star was sorely missed, but Coutinho’s brace at least silenced the jeers that met the team at half-time.

“Whistles are part of the game, the fans want us to win and play well, so that’s why they jeer,” said the match-winner, whose goals papered over the cracks of an at times disjointed performance.

“We always want their support but we’re focused on the objective, which is the match,” Coutinho told Brazil’s SportTV.

“Whistles or cheers, the important thing is to stay focused and get the win.”

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Brazil made a bright start and predictably dominated the early possession and chances. But surprisingly their greatest threat came from set-pieces with Coutinho’s corner delivery causing panic in the Bolivian backline.

Bolivia’s goalkeeper Carlos Lampe made an instinctive block from a Roberto Firmino flick that came straight at him.

And a few minutes later, towering center-half Thiago Silva was left unmarked eight yards out to meet another Coutinho delivery, but he inexplicably headed well wide.

The pitch at the Morumbi stadium wasn’t helping flowing football, with Bolivia in particular struggling to string passes together.

“We’ve got to be honest, Brazil beat us and beat us well,” said Bolivia coach Eduardo Villegas.

Brazil, wearing white shirts and blue shorts, weaved almost geometric patterns around their unambitious visitors but struggled to test Lampe.

Their best chances came from Bolivian mistakes and Richarlison should have scored into an open goal when a woeful Lampe clearance went straight to him, but the Everton forward failed to lift the ball over defender Adrian Jusino, who headed clear from the edge of the 18-yard box.

Barrage of jeers

With 10 men behind the ball, Bolivia were proving hard to break down but Casemiro went close with what appeared to be a shanked cross that drifted just beyond Lampe’s far post with the goalkeeper scrambling to cover it.

Tite’s team were treated to a barrage of jeers from the 67,000 crowd when the half-time whistle went.

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Bolivia’s best moment had perhaps been a cheeky nutmeg of Casemiro by Raul Castro on the edge of his own 18-yard box. It had been slim pickings.

Fans’ spirits were quickly lifted after the restart, though, as Coutinho fired home from the spot on 50 minutes after a contentious penalty award.

Richarlison’s attempted cross struck Jusino’s arm, which was by his side and only slightly away from his body, but after consulting the video assistant referee, Argentine handler Nestor Pitana pointed to the spot.

Bolivia were stunned and just three minutes later their defence went missing as Firmino reached the bye line and chipped the ball to the back post for Coutinho to head home from barely two yards out.

Reluctant to push men forward, Bolivia never looked like getting back into the match.

“If you want to qualify (for the knock-out stages) you have to attack a little more,” admitted Villegas.

And Coutinho’s corners continued to present Brazil with their best chances, as Marquinhos headed straight at Lampe from seven yards with 15 minutes left.

The game had slowed to almost walking pace when substitute Everton scored a sensational third, cutting in from the left wing before firing an unstoppable shot into the far corner with Lampe rooted to the spot.

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Watch Brazil and Barcelona midfielder Arthur prove fitness before Copa America kick-off

David Cooper 13/06/2019
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Barcelona and Brazil midfielder Arthur looks to have recovered in time to play the 2019 Copa America’s opener against Bolivia on Friday.

Melo suffered an injured knee in a friendly game against Honduras last Sunday, but after the first medical test, the results confirmed it was nothing serious.

Arthur is expected to feature in Brazil’s starting eleven against Bolivia at Estadio Morumbi on Friday.

See him put through his paces in this video:










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