Luis Suarez has extra motivation, says Barca boss Luis Enrique
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique is expecting an even greater impact from Luis Suarez this season with the cloud of disciplinary problems no longer hanging over the Uruguay striker.
Barcelona: Barcelona coach Luis Enrique is expecting an even greater impact from Luis Suarez this season with the cloud of disciplinary problems no longer hanging over the Uruguay striker.
Suarez, signed from Liverpool, was unable to make his competitive debut for Barca until October last year following his ban for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup in Brazil.
He still enjoyed a successful season as Barca romped to a treble of Champions League and Spanish League and Cup, although his goal tally of 16 was way behind team mates Lionel Messi and Neymar who scored 43 and 22 respectively.
He has been scoring freely in pre-season games though, with goals against LA Galaxy, Chelsea and Fiorentina, and Enrique is anticipating a fast start by the 28-year-old.
"He is starting the season from the beginning. Last season, we all know, he could not play until October and that was a handicap," the coach told a news conference.
"This year he has the extra motivation of starting the competition from the beginning. He has done a very good pre-season in every match he played.
"He has just confirmed what we know when we signed him last season, he is a top player devoted to the team. A unique player that gets on perfectly with Leo (Messi) and Ney (Neymar). He is an enormous reinforcement."
Enrique, whose side host AS Roma in a friendly on Wednesday, would not be drawn on the future of forward Pedro Rodriguez who is being linked with a move to Manchester United.
"He is a high standard player that has already won everything. He has proven his qualities with good performances both for the club and the (Spanish) national team," he said.
"As his coach I want him to stay. I know him since he was in the second team. But I repeat the same thing, there is no news and only the player can give news."