Luis Suarez among Liverpool stars to join Barcelona or Real Madrid

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Following Philippe Coutinho’s €160m move from Liverpool to Barcelona, we’ve looked at the impact others have made having left The Kop for Catalonia or Real Madrid.

STEVE McMANAMAN

Club: Real Madrid; Fee: Free; Date: 1999-2003

The Englishman was one of few success stories for Brits abroad when he signed for Madrid in 1999. He clocked up 94 appearances for Real, bagging eight goals in the process.

Not only did McManaman become the first Englishman to win the Champions League with a foreign side (1999-2000), he also became the first man to do so twice (2001-2002) – his stunning volley in the win over Valencia in 2000 is still replayed in the Real museum.

The winger managed to hold down a regular starting place in a team, which also included Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Raul and Guti.

The signing of David Beckham to the Bernabeu in 2003 signaled the end of Mcmanaman’s career and Spain and he would see out his career in the Premier League for Manchester City.

Verdict: HIT

MICHAEL OWEN

Club: Real Madrid; Fee: £8m; Date: 2004 – 2005

It took Owen just 15 minutes to open his Premier League account, scoring for Liverpool against Wimbledon aged just 17 years 144 days.

Regarded as one of The Red’s best-ever players, Owen would go on to score 118 goals in 216 Premier League games in all competitions – winning the League Cup (2000-01, 2002-03), FA Cup (2000-01) and UEFA Cup (2000-01).

His move to Real Madrid would have to go some distance to repeat the individual success he had at Anfield. In an injury-hit spell, the England international would play only 46 times for Real Madrid, scoring 16 goals.

The Ballon d’Or winner, failed to nail down a starting place at Real and his spell in Spain ended trophy-less by the time he returned to the Premier League with Newcastle in 2005.

Verdict: MISS

JAVIER MASCHERANO

Club: Barcelona; Fee: £22m; Date: 2007-present

The midfield general would become somewhat of an unsung hero during his three-and-a-half year spell at Anfield, despite not picking up any silverware with Liverpool.

His individual performances caught the eye of then-Barcelona-boss Pep Guardiola who signed him after speaking with Mascherano’s fellow Argentine, Lionel Messi.

The tough tacking midfielder-turned-defender has won a plethora of trophies since his switch to the Spain. His trophy cabinet includes La Liga (x4), Copa del Rey (x4), Spanish super cup (x3) and two Champions League winners’ medals.

Oddly enough, the arrival of Philippe Coutinho looks to have signalled the end of his Barcelona career as the Brazilian looks set to be handed Mascherano’s number 14 shirt as he prepares for a move to Hebei Fortune in China.

Verdict: HIT

ALVARO ARBELOA

Club: Real Madrid; Fee: £5m; Date: 2009-2016

The reported £5 million fee Madrid paid for the defender in 2009 may seem like a snip, but it’s nothing compared to the £2.6million the Reds paid to bring him from Deportivo La Coruna in 2007.

The Spaniard was thrown in at the deep end in his first game for Liverpool and given the task of stopping Lionel Messi, on his debut in the Champions League. Liverpool won the game 2-1 and advanced through to the next round on away goals following 2-2 aggregate victory.

Arbeloa became a regular for Rafa Benitez over the next two years, making 66 appearances (scoring twice) before his switch to Madrid. He went on to make 153 appearances, winning La Liga and the Champions League (twice) during his time in Spain.

Verdict: HIT

XABI ALONSO

Club: Real Madrid; Fee: £30m; Date: 2009-2014

He’ll always be remembered fondly by Liverpool fans for his role in the memorable 2005 Champions League victory against AC Milan. The Spaniard endeared himself to the Kop during his time at Liverpool with his range of passing and goal scoring ability.

He also won the FA Cup before falling out with manager Rafa Benitez after the Spanish boos moved to sign Gareth Barry and it led to a move to Madrid where won both La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey (twice) during a successful five-year spell.

Very much a key-man at Real, Alonso started every game in the league and Champions League in his first season in Spain.

Alonso earned the respect of fans and players alike during his time at both clubs with Steven Gerrard left devastated with his departure to La Liga.

Verdict: HIT

LUIS SUAREZ

Club: Barcelona; Fee: £70m; Date: 2014-present

After a successful four years at Anfield, the controversial forward would leave for a mega-money move to Barcelona.

During his time with Liverpool the Uruguayan scored 69 times for the Reds in 110 appearances and spearhead their title charge in the 2013/14 campaign but despite dazzling individual performances the only silverware he won was the league cup in 2012.

Since leaving Liverpool Suarez has become one of the deadliest strikers in the world scoring 96 goals in 110 appearances. He’s also won La Liga (2014-15, 2015-16), Copa del Rey (2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17), Spanish Super Cup (2016) and Champions League (2014-15).

Verdict: HIT

Jerzy Dudek

Club: Real Madrid; Fee: Free; Date: 2007-2011

After winning the Champions League with Liverpool the Polish shot-stopper made his way to Spain, only to play second fiddle to Iker Casillas. Dudek would only make two appearances for Real - his debut against Real Zaragoza earned him the man of the match award. 

Dudek was a popular figure in the dressing room, and despite not being a regular starter for the club, earned praise from his team mates for his attitude and work ethic.

Verdict: Miss