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The arrival of Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez at Barça has made news headlines all around the world, and reporters from all kinds of different countries attended his eagerly awaited first official press conference on Monday. Naturally, there was a large presence from his home country, where Ovación, the sports supplement of El País, spoke of how "Luis Suarez's life has changed a lot in the last few days" and opened its story describing "A very special day for the Gunfighter.” El Observador spoke of the event at Suarez’s ‘catharsis’ and reckoned that thanks to his words, he now “has the people of Barcelona in his pocket,” highlighting the player's comment that "it was a great feeling making my debut at the Camp Nou."
Local and international media at the Camp Nou
The local Barcelona press were particularly interested in his already close ties to the city. “It has been my dream to play at Barça for many years” quoted El Mundo Deportivo. “Everyone knows that I have close relations with Barcelona through my wife and family. I have already been here to watch games and when the opportunity arose, I didn’t think twice about realising a childhood dream.”
That was also the standout comment in Sport, which also helped to clarify Suarez’s candid comment that “there was a team in England that I almost scored against,” explaining that he was referring to Norwich City, who were on the receiving end of nine goals in just five meetings. And over in Madrid, Marca’s reporter couldn’t help noticing that “the Uruguayan appeared in jeans and sport shirt, and reflected the same modesty in his messages,” choosing to lead with his admission that “there were some days when I felt very depressed” in relation to the sanction imposed on him by FIFA. Rival paper in the Spanish capital, As, also highlighted how Suarez confessed that ““it affected me, I was worried for myself and didn’t want to leave the house.”
Digital editions of newspapers around the world emphasised Suarez’s wishes to start a new phase under Luis Enrique, while praising the attacking flair of the new Barça striker. Thiago Arantes, of ESPN Brazil, said that joining Barça will "help him a lot in his career as a player…..he’ll bring a lot to Barça … He has a powerful long shot, he’s very good in a one-on-one situation, and can adapt to different attacking positions: down the flanks, as a false number 9, or as a central striker".
BBC correspondent Tom Burridge said: "It was really something seeing so many people from around the world at the Camp Nou, and most of them speaking about Suarez. He's a player that sparks a lot of interest, especially in England, as he played for Liverpool. Many believe he was the best player in the Premiership last season … For his goals, he’s very quick with the ball, in attack ... he’s very dangerous". Burridge added that at Barça "he’s surrounded by players of the same level: there is tons of talent here, it will be very interesting to see him play alongside Messi and Neymar".
"He’s a player who has everything" Pete Jenson, a reporter for the Irish Independent, said on Barça TV. "Last year, 70% of the goals that Liverpool scored came via Suarez … He’s a good replacement if Messi can’t play in any particular games. He is perfect for Barcelona". The arrival of the Uruguayan at the Camp Nou means that the British media "are looking even more at Barça, although we are always looking at Barça … When Luis Suarez said that it was his dream to play at this club, he did not invent that, because he has always said that he wanted to play here. It was his real dream which is now fulfilled". For Jenson, he’s "a player like no other in the world, because he has the rare mixture of aggression, intensity and the skill and touch of a great striker".
But it’s not just in England, Spain and Uruguay that Suarez is going to be the focus of attention. The whole world is looking on. As Lionel Dangoumau, of the French newspaper L’Equipe, put it: “Suarez is the best striker in the world today. His presence in the Barça team "will arouse media interest in France", sentiments also reflected by La Gazetta dello Sport in Italy.
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