Barcelona have confirmed that Luis Suarez will not be reporting for international duty with Uruguay later this month, in order to rest and continue work on and improve his fitness after missing games earlier this season through injury.
Suarez has scored three goals in his last two appearances for Barça, including both of the team’s goals in the comeback win against Inter in the Champions League this week.
But with his fitness in mind, Barça and Uruguay staff have agreed for the 32-year-old to be left out of the squad for his country’s upcoming pair of friendlies against Peru in Montevideo and Lima, which would require lengthy travelling to and from South America.
Instead, Suarez will remain in Catalonia during the international break and train according to his own ‘personalised work plan’. With a view to the rest of the club season, that seems like a sensible plan to get the best out of him.
With Uruguay also missing prolific Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani, the two-time World Cup winners have included young forwards Darwin Nunez, who is based in Spain with Almeria, and LA FC’s Brian Rodriguez in the squad instead.
Before the international break, Barcelona face Sevilla in La Liga at Camp Nou, knowing a win is vital for the champions to keep up the pressure on the clubs currently above them in the table.
Fans will hope that Suarez can continue his rich vein of scoring form, while Lionel Messi is bizarrely still awaiting his first goal of the season after an injury-plagued start to the campaign.
Antoine Griezmann’s return of three goals in nine appearances is somewhat disappointing since his €120m move from Atletico Madrid, not least because Messi and Suarez were both out of action earlier in the season and the Frenchman was leading the line.