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Luis Suárez strode confidently into the press room at the Ciutat Esportiva precisely at 11.30am CET on Friday morning. He sat down behind the microphone, crossed his arms on top of the table, and, with his deep, dark summer tan perfectly accenting his sparkling brown eyes, he gazed out into the press corps that had assembled to hear him offer his first words about the looming season.
Relaxed and optimistic, Suárez, coming off a career season in which he won the Golden Shoe, was asked if it was realistic to duplicate such gaudy goal scoring numbers.
“You always try to outdo yourself,” he said. “I know it’s difficult, but I am on the best team in the world and, here, anything is possible.”
In keeping true to his well-grounded personality and propensity for exuding humility, Suárez said he wasn’t losing sleep about renegotiating his deal.
“I’m under contract,” he said unequivocally. “I know people are talking about a new agreement. I don’t know anything about that, and it doesn’t worry me either.”
“I know the Club will evaluate my performance,” he said, before making it clear where his priorities were.
“Right now there are more important things [to worry about],” he said.
Here are some of the highlights of what the Barça striker had to say at Friday’s press conference.
On the outlook heading into the 2016/17 season:
“We have to win here, always. We’re getting ready for the season to reach our objectives, which are to win every title possible and keep making history.”
On Leo Messi:
"He's fine, he's having a good vacation and, like every player, he's excited to get back to training."
“As a friend and an admirer of football I’d like to see him stay with Argentina’s national team. His love for country is not up for discussion, but you also have to understand him after losing the final. I think he’ll reconsider.”
“We have to support him.”
On his own performance last season:
“I had very good numbers last year, and they surprised even me.”
On the Club looking to sign a fourth striker:
“Barça is always signing players. The coach knows that there are some situations in which we lack a player. There’s no problem is the coach juggles the line-up.”
On the possibility of signing Luciano Vietto:
“He’s a great player. I liked him more at Villarreal where he made more of a difference, but this year he didn’t get a lot of minutes at Atlético.”
“Everybody knows his character and how important he is in the dressing room. We are all hoping he’ll stay here.”
On André Gomes, the newest member of the team:
“I’m not out to flatter him but he was one of the biggest difference-makers at Valencia. He’s a strong player and has great ability with both legs. I think he’ll bring a lot to the team and we’re happy to have a player like him.”
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