Former Barcelona striker Luis Suarez recently sat down for an interview with El Larguero, during which he discussed a wide range of topics starting from his time at Camp Nou to his stint at Atletico Madrid, which came to an end recently, with his contract expiring.
Suarez signed for Barcelona from Liverpool in the summer of 2014. Opening up on the move, the Uruguayan superstar revealed that he always dreamt of playing for the Blaugrana and chose the club over Real Madrid, with whom there were discussions as well.
“There were talks with Real Madrid during the 2014 World Cup but my dream was always Barcelona,” Suarez said.
The striker admitted that he had doubts about a move at first due to the attacking options at Camp Nou. At the time, the Blaugrana had Lionel Messi, Neymar and Alexis Sanchez in the frontline, along with Pedro, but he chose to follow his dream.
“Sometime before signing for Barcelona, I was asked: Do you see yourself in Barcelona? And I said no. There was Messi, Neymar and Sanchez. I said to myself, “Where will I play?” Although I dreamed of playing in Barcelona,” he added.
Suarez also admitted to earning more at Liverpool than he did at Camp Nou, saying: “I was earning more in Liverpool than Barcelona, but I chose Barça because of the project.”
Suarez and Messi became great friends during their time together at Camp Nou and remain very close even today. When asked how the Argentine superstar was doing, the striker replied: “Good, do you want me to call him? I’m sure he’s asleep.”
The Uruguayan striker admits that the seven-time Ballon d’Or’s exit from Barça last year came as a shock to him.
Talking about Messi’s departure, he said: “I was surprised by Messi’s departure and suffered with him, he himself was surprised. We were on vacation and he said, ‘I’m going to sign on Thursday’.
“On Thursday afternoon, Antonella told my wife that the renewal would not take place, I was celebrating my daughter’s fifth birthday, I spoke with Leo and he told me how sad the situation was and it was clear that he was disappointed.”
When asked if the trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar (MSN) was the best ever attacking partnership, Suarez said: “There are the numbers.”
“Just the other day I was talking, I don’t remember who, and I told him that we scored a hundred and a few goals. He told me: ‘No, no, one year they scored something like a hundred and thirty goals.’ It was nonsense, nonsense,” he said.
One year prior to Messi leaving, Suarez had left Barcelona for Atletico Madrid, with the club deciding that he was not at the level needed. Speaking about his feelings at the moment, the Uruguayan said:
“My departure from Barcelona made me continue to prove myself, they told me that I was not at the club’s level, I was frustrated and said ‘I have to prove myself’.”
Further elaborating on his decision to join Atleti from Barça, he said: “I am old, I did what I had to do. I was worried that things would not go well at Atletico but I trusted the club, the coach and my teammates.
“Winning the league with a team they haven’t won in years was unbelievable, although at Barcelona I also gave it my all.”
Suarez proved himself in some fashion, as he led Atletico Madrid to the La Liga title in his debut season at the Wanda Metropolitano. Talking about his experience and the difference in training culture at the two teams, the centre-forward said:
“I was fortunate to win a lot with Barcelona, but we did not suffer much, in training I used to laugh, while in Atletico Madrid there was no laughter, the situation was tense and competitive.”
The former Liverpool superstar also admitted to having been running more during his time at Atletico than at Barcelona. “In some matches, I ran more than 10 km, in Barcelona I didn’t go over 9.1 km,” he said.
The talk then steered to the Ballon d’Or award for 2022, with Real Madrid superstar Karim Benzema emerging as the favourite to win the Golden Orb later this year.
Giving his take on whether Benzema deserved the accolade, Suarez said: “For this season yes, but for me it should always be given to Leo because he is the best player in the world. Lewa [Robert Lewandowski] and [Mohamed] Salah also had a great season.”
Suarez’s former club, Liverpool take on Real Madrid in the finals of the UEFA Champions League later this week. When asked which club he would support in France, the answer was quite obvious.
“I’m a fan of Barcelona, Liverpool and every team I’ve played in. If Madrid win I will accept it even though I prefer Liverpool to win,” he said.