Barcelona forward Luis Suarez has admitted the days following their Champions League exit were the “worst moments” of his life.
The Blaugrana took a 3-0 aggregate lead into their Champions League semi-final second leg against Liverpool, and expectations were on them to reach their first final since 2015.
What happened after Barcelona’s defeat to Liverpool? Five things to know…
- Barcelona led their Champions League semi-final against Liverpool 3-0 after the first leg.
- But the Reds would win 4-0 at Anfield to book their place in the final.
- It was the second Champions League ‘remontada’ in as many years against Barcelona.
- And Suarez admits he wanted to “disappear from the world” after the defeat
- Suarez had just 31 touches at Anfield, fewer than any other starter for both teams.
But Ernesto Valverde’s side would lose 4-0 at Anfield with Georginio Wijnaldum and Divock Origi the unlikely heroes, scoring a brace each.
It was the second time in as many seasons that Barcelona had given up a three-goal lead in the Champions League to be knocked out. In the 2017/18 campaign, the Blaugrana took a 4-1 aggregate lead to their quarter-final second leg against Roma, only to be knocked out on away goals.
And Suarez, who has not scored a Champions League away goal since September 2015, admits the defeat to Liverpool affected his life.
“The days after back in Barcelona were the worst moments of my life and career, along with the 2014 World Cup, I wanted to disappear from the world,” he told reporters.
“I didn’t want to take my children to school, everyone could see I was in a bad way. I had days I didn’t want to do anything, they were very difficult moments.”
The Uruguayan, who had fewer touches than any player to start the second leg at Anfield (31), also admitted Barcelona failed to show the right attitude after going behind.
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He added: “I didn’t see [us losing] because we are Barcelona and we thought we’d have two or three chances to score, but we became nervous, we gave stupid passes away, we didn’t show the right attitude.
“When the first goal came we didn’t know how to react, we knew we had really messed up. After the game in the dressing room no-one could say anything, there was sadness, bitterness and disappointment because we knew we’d given an awful image.”
Time running up for Suarez?
Despite scoring 25 goals across all competitions for Barcelona this season, it is believed that Suarez’s time as the club’s starting forward is running out. Of his 25 goals, only one came in the Champions League, in the semi-final first leg against former side Liverpool.
As a result, Barcelona are being linked with bringing in a new forward this summer, with Antoine Griezmann the favourite. And, according to Atletico Madrid CEO Gil Marin, Griezmann will be a Barcelona player.
“I know exactly where he’s going to play. I’ve known since March. In Barcelona,” Marin said recently.
“There are players who feel they are greater than the squad. We have to form a group of men.”