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Football Reporting


MLS an option after World Cup but return to Europe won’t happen

Luis Suarez has said Major League Soccer is “one of the options I see as being most likely” for his next move, and ruled out a return to European football.

Suarez, 35, is now back at Nacional in Uruguay — after joining on a free transfer from Atletico Madrid in July — and has scored four goals in eight league appearances this season.

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The former Liverpool and Barcelona forward has previously said that he received offers from MLS clubs in the summer, before settling on a switch back to his boyhood club.

“I don’t know yet,” Suarez told Marca, in an interview published on Saturday, when asked about playing in the United States. “It’s one of the options that I see as being most likely, but I’m not thinking about that right now. I’m thinking about and enjoying myself at Nacional.”

Suarez is on a short-term deal at Nacional which is set to expire in December after he features for Uruguay at the World Cup, but he told Marca he would not consider returning to Europe after that.

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“I’ve had my career in Europe and I left very proud,” he said. “I had a lot of options, a lot of them, before coming to Nacional, but it made sense to come back to [Uruguay]. Groningen, Ajax, Liverpool, Barcelona, Atletico … what would be a better career in Europe than that? It was perfect.”

This World Cup will be Suarez’s fourth, after helping Uruguay reach the semifinals in 2010, the round of 16 in 2014 and the quarterfinals in 2018.

A talented squad that includes Suarez and Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez in attack and Tottenham Hotspur’s Rodrigo Bentancur and Real Madrid’s Fede Valverde in midfield will face Portugal, Ghana and South Korea in Group H.

“I’ve said that [Valverde] reminds me of Steven Gerrard, who I played with at Liverpool,” Suarez said. “He has similar characteristics. He’s ‘box-to-box,’ he can shoot, he gets into the box … I don’t want to compare them, but they’re similar.”

Uruguay’s South American rivals Brazil and Argentina are among the favourites to lift the trophy in Qatar, but Suarez rates his former home Spain as other contenders.

“Spain are candidates,” he said, “because of their players, their quality and because they have the best coach I’ve had in my career [at Barcelona], Luis Enrique.”

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