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Rumors Are Swirling That Luis Suárez Might Be Trying To Jump From Barcelona To The MLS

Former Uruguayan teammate and friend, Nicolas Lodeiro, told Major League Soccer (MLS) that Barcelona forward Luis Suárez, 32, “wants to come to MLS.” Suárez and Lodeiro are both native to Uruguay and have played alongside each other at Ajax and during international matches like the 2019 Copa América. Lodeiro, who currently plays midfielder for the Seattle Sounders, is hoping Suárez comes to play for the Sounders. It wouldn’t be the first time Suárez speaks with the Sounders General Manager Garth Lagerwey. While Lodeiro and Suárez were together at Copa América this summer, Suárez reportedly overheard Lodeiro get frustrated with his English while on the phone with Lagerway. Suárez grabbed the phone and translated the transfer negotiation that landed Lodeiro in The Emerald City. Now, Lodeiro is hoping Suárez will follow suit.

“Sooner or later he’ll come to MLS. Well, hopefully,” Lodeiro said Thursday. “He likes the league. He’s always asking me things about it. Hopefully, he can also play for Seattle Sounders. It may be a more difficult task. I think it’s only a matter of time before he’s out here.”

The FC Barcelona star’s contract is set to expire in 2021, but it may happen sooner than planned.

Credit: @luissuarez9 / Instagram

The club just spent nearly $150 million on young striker Antoine Griezmann. “It’s not strange if they’re looking for or want to bring in another striker. That’s the reality of football,” Suárez told Ovacion. “It will be better for me because it will place demands on me. It’ll be better for the club because it’ll boost competition,” he told the Uruguay outlet. Suárez has been urging Nou Camp manager Ernesto Valverde to release him from his contract during the January transfer window. The club may want to recoup Suárez’ annual salary to offset the costs of signing Griezmann.

“There will come a time when my age won’t allow me to be at the high level that it is needed for Barcelona,” Suárez added during his Ovacion interview. “It has been five years with the same pressure and I always try to respond in the same way,” he said. “It’s not easy to come to play at a club like this and win your place. You have an exam every three days. There’s no rest and a bad day isn’t forgiven.”

Rumors that Suárez may join America’s Major League Soccer are competing with rumors that he’d play for Argentina.

Credit: @luissuarez9 / Instagram

“He told me maybe he comes in seven years,” Sounders’ manager Lagerwey joked in late 2016. “That was his quote, so maybe that’s when his contract runs out…I told him we’d love to have him whenever he’s ready.” Argentina is certainly vying to claim the superstar for their own. Both Boca Juniors and San Lorenzo are trying to woo Suárez. San Lorenzo’s vice president recently made Suárez a club member and gave him a team shirt. Of course, Suárez could relocate his family back to his home country of Uruguay and play for Nacional.

Basically, everyone wants Suárez to come to play for them, and it’s no wonder why.

Suárez has won 18 trophies during his career.

Credit: @luissuarez9 / Instagram

Of those trophies, six are league titles. It was Suárez who ended Lionel Messi’s six-year streak by winning the 2016 La Liga’s Pichichi Trophy. He’s scored 467 career goals for the various clubs he’s played for and for his country, Uruguay. His career started when he was just 14 years old and started playing for Nacional. By the time he was 19, Groningen bought him from Nacional and he happily moved to the Netherlands. He wanted to be closer to his then-girlfriend and now-wife, Sofía Balbi, who lived in Barcelona. They started dating when Suárez was just 15 years old. They married six years later and now have three children together. 

It wouldn’t be the first time Suárez was courted in the middle of a contract.

Credit: @luissuarez9 / Instagram

When Suárez was playing for Ajax, he was placed on a suspension after biting a player, and being dubbed the “Cannibal of Ajax.” During his suspension, Liverpool offered Ajax a $30 million offer, the club’s most expensive signing at that time. Despite a second biting incident, Suárez went onto be named the Player of the Year during the 2013-2014 season. It seems the only reason Suárez would stay with Barcelona is that his wife’s family lives in Barcelona.

READ: Here’s How Luis Suarez Pissed Off His Former Team During A Semi-Final Match

As Andy Ruiz Jr. Gets Set For A Rematch Against Anthony Joshua, He’s Already A Champion For Many Latinos

Entertainment

As Andy Ruiz Jr. Gets Set For A Rematch Against Anthony Joshua, He’s Already A Champion For Many Latinos

andy_destroyer13 / Instagram

Underdog is a word that gets tossed around quite frequently in the world of sports. That may be because as humans we love the story of the often-counted out, disregarded and overlooked individual coming out on top. David vs Goliath. Rocky vs Apollo Creed. The list goes on.

This past June, Latinos got their own modern-day underdog story in the upset victory of Andy Ruiz Jr. over Anthony Joshua. It was a moment that will live on among the biggest upsets in sports within the past several decades. As the boxing world gets set for the highly anticipated rematch between Ruiz and Joshua, many Latinos have already won before Ruiz has even put on a pair of gloves. 

The-then 268 pound Ruiz knocked out three-belt heavyweight champion Joshua to become the first boxer of Mexican descent to win a heavyweight title. But as every underdog story goes, the victory didn’t come easy or expected.

Ruiz wasn’t even supposed to be at the fight until he was called in as a last-minute replacement for Jarrell Miller, who submitted three positive drug tests. Ruiz was dubbed “overweight,” “out of shape,” and a fill-in of what was supposed to be Joshua’s coming out party in his first fight in the United States. Ruiz entered the match as a +1100 underdog with a résumé of victories that took place in small casino venues from Tijuana to Tucson. 

Suddenly, he’d be fighting against one of the most feared boxers in Joshua in one of the most famous arenas in the world, Madison Square Garden in New York City.  

To put it in simplest terms, Ruiz had won the lottery without getting a single cent. Remember how I said humans love underdog stories? Yeah, this had all the makings of an underdog story but the easiest part of the script was already written. The world was just waiting for Ruiz to do his part

Seven rounds of punches later, Ruiz had accomplished what few had ever expected a man of his background, style and size to ever accomplish in a boxing ring. But more importantly, Ruiz became an inspiration to so many Latinos in a time when anti-Latino sentiment seems to be the only thing seen in the headlines. 

Whether it be from the U.S. president, a white-supremacist shooter targeting “Mexicans” in El Paso, Texas and the constant narrative of an “invasion” from the Southern Border. But on June 2, 2019, the world woke up to a headline that didn’t read “Joshua KO’s Ruiz” or “Ruiz Who?”, they read “Ruiz Becomes First Mexican Heavyweight Champion.” 

“It means a lot, especially knowing I’ve worked from 6 years old to get to where I’m at now,” Ruiz told the LA Times after the fight. “But it won’t mean something only to me. Each Mexican has his own dream, and I’ve come to believe as long as we focus, you can accomplish anything you want. So maybe by winning, I can change some minds.”

What has ensued since that legendary June night is a celebratory tour that few Mexican boxers have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. 

Overnight, Ruiz became a folk hero of some sorts to countless of Latinos who embraced the boxer and his underdog story. Ruiz came from humble beginnings, born in Imperial Valley, California and was raised by Mexican immigrant parents. His journey began at the age of six when he started his boxing career and would train long days and nights with his father, Andy Ruiz Sr. He would take his son with him for daily training sessions in Mexicali and would endure 90-minute waits at the border crossing. 

Ruiz was born already counted out and that helped him become the fighter he is today.

Credit: andy_destroyer13 / Instagram

That rugged street mentality was etched in his mind from a young age and still follows him to this day. 

“We know their struggles,”  Jorge Munoz, director of Sparta boxing club where Ruiz would train in his hometown of the  Imperial Valley, told The Guardian. “We know how many times they wanted to give up. And the people in the boxing world, they understand how much you go to tournaments and you sacrifice, sometimes you don’t have food, you come back and you try to raise the money to go somewhere else and all these struggles you go through with one goal that you might never get the chance for.”

What ensued after his victory was a championship tour the likes of which a Mexican boxer had never seen. Ruiz met with the Mexican president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. He made an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” There was even a photoshoot with GQ Mexico. The crowning moment was a hometown parade on June 22 in the Imperial Valley where thousands of fans showed up to cheer the champ. 

“He’s one of us, so this is a big deal,” Reyna Gutierrez, a fan of Ruiz who was at that parade, told the Desert Sun. “People might not understand. He’s representing our community and he’s the first Mexican heavyweight champion. We’re so proud of that.”

Whatever the rematch result may be, it won’t matter to many Latinos. Ruiz has already done more than bring home a title, he’s become an underdog that Latinos can call their own.

The rematch bout is being billed as the “Clash on the Dunes,” as Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) will take on Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia about six months after history was made. One day before the fight, Ruiz already made headlines at the official weigh-in as he tipped the scale coming in at a surprising 283.7 pounds, 15 pounds heavier than in his first fight. 

“I kind of wanted to be a little over what I was last time so I could be stronger and feel actually a little better than in the first fight,” Joshua told Yahoo Sports. “We were [planning to be 268], but they were making us wait before we got to the scales and so I had already ate. Plus, I weighed with all my clothes. That’s one of the reasons why I weighed probably too much

While the extra pounds might be concerning to some, experts and analysts see the match as a tossup. For Ruiz, he likes being counted out. He thrives on it. It’s the only way he knows how to feel entering the boxing ring. 

“I never gave up, after everybody was telling me that I wasn’t gonna do nothing (because of) the way that I look … I kept training, I kept listening to my father, my team (and) my coaches. … When I got knocked down, I got back up like the warrior that I am. … (To) all the kids that have dreams, dream big,” Ruiz said at his hometown parade

Never give up. Get back up. Dream big. 

Yes, those are the words that sound like the description of an underdog. Andy Ruiz knows too well about that label and so do many Latinos. That’s why when that bell rings in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, the world will be breathing in their collective breath as the latest chapter in this underdog story is written. 

Latinos wouldn’t have it any other way. 

READ: It’s Been 14 Years Since The Untimely Death Of Wrestling Icon Eddie Guerrero And His Legacy Is More Relevant Today Than Ever

People Are Outraged After A Mexican Football Club Mocked The Global Feminist Protests Against The Patriarchy

Entertainment

People Are Outraged After A Mexican Football Club Mocked The Global Feminist Protests Against The Patriarchy

Cultura Colectiva

Among Mexican premier league soccer teams perhaps the one that generates the most passionate responses from both fans and detractors is the Club América. Based in the southern part of Mexico City, the team is owned by the omnipresent media company Televisa. Its players and followers are sometimes infamous for having a pretentious attitude and feeling like they are better than everyone else. They are sort of the Yankees of Mexican soccer.

So it came as no surprise when the team’s players engaged in yet another controversy, showing little respect for women and almost zero awareness of how pressing it is to acknowledge, denounce and solve the many crimes against women in the country, from sexual assault and harassment to kidnappings, family violence and murder.  It is not easy to be a woman in Mexico, and it is an act of courage, but also desperation, to protest as loudly as possible. 

So the players from the under-17 team of Club América mocked the feminist performance through which women in France, Spain, Chile, Mexico and many other countries are denouncing the abusive patriarchy.

Credit: Resumen Latinoamericano

This dance is called “Un violador en tu camino” (A rapist on your path) and denounces victim blaming while stating, in a very powerful and crude manner, that the real guilt should be placed on rapists. It is not a woman’s fault regardless of what she was wearing or where she was at the time when she was abused. Women from all around the world have made this a viral phenomenon and a symbol of the post #metoo era. To protest like this publicly is a courageous act that should never be minimized or mocked. They are mothers, daughters, friends, girlfriends and sisters of some of the very men who they are protesting against. 

So what did the young dudes from the Club América do? They dared to parody the dance. Seriously, WTAF carnalitos? It is never OK to just say “boys will be boys.”

A video which was made viral in Mexican social media shows the young players shirtless in the locker room, parodying the feminist anthem. And even though some might say that boys will be boys, this is in no way justifiable.

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries for women, with feminicides running rampant not only in the city of Ciudad Juarez, where hundreds of women have been killed since the 1990s, but also in Mexico City and the neighboring State of Mexico, where domestic violence seems to be an everyday crime that most of the times goes unpunished. So no, boys will be boys, will not cut it and the players deserve all the backlash that they received on social media, where women (and men) awarded them with all kinds of insults that stress their discriminatory and harmful actions. 

The soccer team published a press release stating that this would not go unpunished.

Credit: Cultura Colectiva News

The team released an official message saying that there needs to be a change and that they would educate players on issues such as gender violence and a correct use of social media. They also stated that the players would be punished, perhaps by leaving them on the bench for a few games. Some of the players have also publicly apologized. Player Omar Lomeli, for example, said that he wasn’t intending to insult the feminist movement and that he would enrol in workshops to understand gender issues. However, it remains to be seen whether this is an isolated incident or if there is indeed, as we would be inclined to suspect, a serious issue of misogyny in the world of sports. 

“Locker room talk” is a sign of toxic masculinity in the world of male professional sports.

The locker rooms seem to be a sort of safe space to basically be nasty and express xenophobic, homophobic and incendiary views (we are sure you have read the expression “locker room talk”). The video might just be the tip of the proverbial iceberg, an accidental look into a world in which young men are encouraged to be hypercompetitive and demonstrate their masculinity, as toxic as it might be, on a daily basis. The change has to come from within and a few pep talks won’t do it.

And this is not exclusive of Mexican soccer, for example, other sports leagues, such as the Australian Football League, have faced serious crisis in which their players have expressed appalling world views or engaged in systematic sexual abuse. Let us not forget that historically damaging comments such as “grab them by the pussy” have been dismissed as mere “locker room talk” even in the highest echelons of power. We are all well aware of where a lack of accountability regarding this leads.