What's the story?
In case you didn't know...
Suarez enjoyed a great spell with Liverpool between 2011 and 2014. He helped the Reds win the League Cup in 2012. The Uruguay international also nearly ended the Merseysiders' Premier League title drought during the 2013-14 season, when he finished as the top scorer in the English top division, helping the Reds to finish second in the league table.
The 32-year-old left the English side to join Barcelona in 2014 and he has been an integral part of the Blaugrana since then. He played 243 games for the LaLiga club thus far, scoring 176 goals.
He will now play against Liverpool for their first competitive game since leaving the club, when both the teams will face off each other in the Champions League semi-finals next month. The first leg of the tie will be played at the Camp Nou on May 2 and the Reds will later host the Spanish giants at Anfield for the second leg on May 8.
The heart of the matter
In his recent interview with The Guardian, Luis Suarez stated,
“I understand what they’re going through and it can’t be easy but I think with us it was different because it was: ‘now or never’, a one-off.
When I was there, it was very different. We were on the verge of the Premier League with a squad nowhere near as good.
They didn’t spend as much as they’re doing now. Any player would like to go to Liverpool now; it was different then. If we’d won the league, I think it would have been an even bigger achievement than if this team do."
He further elaborated:
“The front three are very quick, technically gifted, so much talent; they’re players who make the difference and Liverpool’s results depend on them.
The kind of players you’d love to play with, with the level you’d expect for a club like Liverpool, built to win the Premier League and the Champions League. They also know how to approach games. Maybe we didn’t handle that so well.
What happened with Stevie was bad luck, but take Crystal Palace: these days, you’d say: ‘No, play calmly, we’re 3-0 up, City have to win in midweek and the weekend.’ But we felt that urge to score, we went forward thinking we could be champions on goal difference. That was the mistake of being ‘too young’.”
The 32-year-old also spoke about his experience of playing alongside Lionel Messi.
“It’s not just what you see watching him; I see it playing with him: I start running with my head down and the ball appears there, He stops, looks at his feet, imaginary ball between them, and pulls a face. “And you think: ‘How did he put it there?’ ‘How did he know that I would end up there?’ Sometimes you’re there, waiting to receive and you’ve got three players between you and him and you think: ‘No, no, I’ll go [somewhere else] because how’s he going to get it through there?’ and he does but you’ve gone. The pass hasn’t worked but it’s my fault for not thinking he can do that. There are thousands of moves like that.
“It will be difficult [when he retires], because he gives people pleasure: you go to play away and their fans applaud him; it’s spectacular. “The nice thing for us is that we get to live through this, and there are years left to keep enjoying the things Leo can do.”
The Uruguyan talked about how people under-appreciate Barcelona's success in the league.
“Sometimes people don’t appreciate the leagues Barcelona have won. It’s as if it was easy, no one thinks much of it. But then you go and lose to Alavés or Valladolid: ‘Buah, what a disaster they are!’ You have to appreciate all those titles. You have to win those games, like last night.”
Liverpool will host Huddersfield Town at Anfield later today, whereas, Barcelona will play Levante at the Camp Nou on April 28. Given Liverpool's success this season, many players could be tempted to join them in the EPL.Published 26 Apr 2019, 21:06 IST