‘Barcelona wouldn’t buy a fat man’ – Tabarez hits back over Suarez fitness fears

The veteran Uruguay coach says the suspended striker is still at his peak and selected him for next week’s friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Oman

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez has hit out at suggestions that Luiz Suarez is overweight by insisting Barcelona wouldn’t “buy a fat player”.

The Barca striker is finally set to make his Liga debut later in October following a four-month ban for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at this year’s World Cup.

He was also hit with eight-match suspension from competitive internationals but was named in the Uruguay squad for next week’s friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Oman by Tabarez.

The South American nation’s trainer swatted aside criticism over Suarez’s fitness fears and insisted that the ex-Liverpool striker still has a major role to play for his country.

“I cannot imagine that a club like Barcelona would buy a fat player,” Tabarez, who has just extended his contract through to the 2018 World Cup, told reporters.

“He is in his best footballing years and, beyond his mistakes, he has everything needed to succeed.

“I believe it is important for Luis Suarez to keep in contact and training with the national team despite the ban, not only for him but for the national team overall and his team-mates.

“We have to see the things positively, because given his circumstances he could be given a ban reduction.

“Eventually at some point of the World Cup qualifying campaign we will have a fantastic addition to the national side in Suarez and we should look at it from that point of view.”

Uruguay squad

Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Vasco Da Gama)

Defenders: Maximiliano Pereira (Benfica), Diego Godin, Jose Maria Gimenez (both Atletico Madrid), Emiliano Velazquez (Getafe), Gaston Silva (Torino), Martin Caceres (Juventus), Alvaro Pereira (Sao Paulo), Mathias Corujo (Universidad de Chile)

Midfielders: Egidio Arevalo Rios (UANL Tigres), Diego Arismendi (Nacional), Camilo Mayada (Danubio), Gaston Ramirez (Hull City), Nicolas Lodeiro (Corinthians), Cristian Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid), Giorgian De Arrascaeta (Defensor Sporting)

Forwards: Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Cristhian Stuani (Espanyol), Abel Hernandez (Hull City), Diego Rolan (Bordeaux), Jonathan Rodriguez (Penarol)


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