Brendan Rodgers insists that Liverpool will be even stronger next season despite the departure of star striker Luis Suarez, after the Uruguayan striker agreed a ￡75 million (US$128.4 million) move to Barcelona on Friday.
The 27-year-old scored 82 goals in 133 appearances for Liverpool and his remarkable tally of 31 in 33 league matches last season helped the Reds qualify for the Champions League and come close to their first Premier League in 24 years.
Despite the impressive figures, Suarez’s stay at Anfield was marred by a series of controversial incidents, which included suspensions for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra and biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.
Suarez landed himself in trouble again in spectacular fashion during the FIFA World Cup when he bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, earning a nine-match international suspension and a four-month ban from all soccer activities.
That latest indiscretion led Liverpool owner John Henry to cash in on Suarez, with the fee to be reinvested in strengthening the squad, and Rodgers expects to reap the rewards.
“I am confident we will improve the team further and will be stronger for this coming season, when we will be competing on all fronts; domestically and in the greatest club competition in the world, the Champions League,” he said.
It is not the first time Liverpool have sparked fears about their future by selling a star forward.
In 1977, Kevin Keegan quit for Hamburg SV, but was replaced with tremendous success by Kenny Dalglish, who later managed the Reds, while Ian Rush’s move to Juventus in 1987 was offset by swoops for Peter Beardsley, John Aldridge and John Barnes.
In both cases, the club went on to win silverware the season after the big-name exits and Rodgers hopes his rebuilding program, which has seen the signings of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Emre Can, will yield similar rewards.
“If there is one thing the history of this great club teaches us, it is that Liverpool FC is bigger than any individual,” Rodgers said.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017
TAIWANESE TO PLAY: Jason Jung faces Frederico Coria in the men’s singles first round today, while in the women’s singles, Hsieh Su-wei is to take on Barbara Haas Novak Djokovic is to renew his love-hate relationship with Roland Garros in the knowledge that it is himself rather than seemingly unsettled 12-time champion Rafael Nadal who could pose the greatest threat to winning a second Paris title and 18th Grand Slam crown. The only man to beat Djokovic this year is Djokovic after the Serb’s hair-trigger temper prompted a sensational disqualification from the US Open. The 33-year-old arrives in the French capital with a 31-1 record this year after his New York brain-fade was followed by a record 36th Masters title in Rome. Djokovic’s 2016 triumph at Roland Garros allowed him to
Taiwan’s Jason Jung was knocked out of the first round of the French Open in straight sets on Sunday, while Andy Murray said it was going to be “difficult” for the former world No. 1 to reach his level of old after he also fell to a lopsided defeat by fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka. Jung fell to a 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3) defeat to Argentina’s Federico Coria in 3 hours, 19 minutes at Roland Garros, despite hitting 55 winners. Jung served for both the first and second sets, then failed to convert two set points at 5-4 in