Luis Suarez on Friday completed his move from Liverpool to Barcelona, with the latter paying a fee thought to be close to 75 million euros ($102 million). The Uruguay international, who hit 31 league goals for Liverpool last season, will travel to Barcelona next week for a medical.
Suarez was last season's Premier League top scorer and winner of the PFA and Football Writers' Player of the Year awards. He signed for Liverpool from Ajax in 2011 for £22.7 million ($38.9 million), and had four years left on his contract.
In a statement, the striker said the move to Barcelona would take him closer to his wife Sofia's family. "I hope you can all understand why I have made this decision. This club did all they could to get me to stay, but playing and living in Spain, where my wife's family live, is a lifelong dream and ambition. I believe now the timing is right."
Suarez, of course, is currently serving a four-month ban from all soccer-related activity for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini while on international duty with Uruguay at the World Cup. When he is eligible to play again, the striker is expected to wear the number nine shirt.
"It is with a heavy heart that I leave Liverpool for a new life and new challenges in Spain," Suarez added. "Both me and my family have fallen in love with this club (Liverpool) and with the city, but most of all I have fallen in love with the incredible fans. You have always supported me and we, as a family, will never forget it. We will always be Liverpool supporters."