Luis Suarez sees in 2020 with SPORT & hopes New Year means new contract

Luis Suarez sees in 2020 with SPORT & hopes New Year means new contract

Luis Suárez habló en exclusiva con SPORT / | Marta Fernández

The Uruguayan is looking forward to more years in a Barcelona shirt

Luis Suarez heads into 2020 with the same ambition which characterised his arrival at Barcelona in 2019. His 190 goals have made him a legend at Camp Nou but he's not stopping there. He wants to keep on adding to his numbers and hopefully beyond 2021, too, when his contract ends, with the option of an additional year. 

Suarez toasted the New Year with SPORT and said that he hopes 2020 will bring a contract extension. There are no doubts about his performances and he wants to keep on scoring goals for the Barca fans, who he identified with greatly. 

"I am very happy at the club," he said in an exclusive interview with SPORT to bid farewell to 2019. "I have always given my all. The statistics and the numbers back that up, I think I am still at the top of my game and when it's time to talk, we will come to an (agreement)." 

Suarez fulfilled a lifelong dream when he joined Barca and he wants to prolong his stay in Catalonia. His European journey began aged 19 with Groningen and, following spells with Ajax and Liverpool, now 32, he still feels in shape to keep on playing at the top level. 

The Uruguayan is currently the fourth top scorer in the club's history. With 190 goals, only Kubala (194), César (232) and, of course, Messi (618) are ahead of him. Suarez, therefore, is just four behind the great Kubala and a place on the podium. He says it's a "great challenge" but added: "I always said personal challenges have to be left to one side, but in this case, with so few (goals) to move (into third place) and overtake a historic player like Kubala, you feel very proud." 

The distance is greater to second, with Cesar 42 goals clear of Suarez. That will reduce in 2020: "Second place is obviously a more difficult challenge, but that doesn't take it out of sight. You always try to do what you can. The first place is unreachable (smiles), but it's exciting to be able to get close to Cesar's figures." 

Suarez has short and long-term challenges. Kicking off 2020 is the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia and the La Liga derby against Espanyol. 

"The main objective is the Super Cup," he added. "It's a really attractive competition for us. It's a new format and we start against a top-class rival in Atletico. We're going to give our best to try and reach the final and fight to win the first Super Cup in this new format. We're excited because there's a trophy in play. 

"The Super Cup is a huge motivation, now we're enjoying some time off after a busy period before Christmas, but we're already anxious to fight for the trophy." 

Before then, Barça return to league action against rivals Espanyol at the RCDE Stadium. Espanyol are at the bottom of La Liga and have already changed coach twice this season, but Suarez is ruling nothing out. 

"Derbies are always difficult," he said. "You have to be very careful. They are in a delicate situation but in terms of the quality of their players, they don't deserve to be where they are now. The results and the situation pushes them to the limit, it creates nerves..." 

In any case, the striker is confident Barça can overcome the challenge and keep top spot after ending 2019 two points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the table. 

"It's a nice game and everyone likes to play in it," he said of the Catalan derby.

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