'I was intimidated by joining Messi,' reveals Luis Suarez
Published 21/04/2015 | 02:30
Luis Suarez has admitted he was anxious at the prospect of playing alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar when he joined Barcelona last summer with a £75million price tag.
The Uruguayan striker, who arrived under a cloud following his ban for biting at last year's World Cup, has made a rapid adjustment to life at the Catalan club and will be hoping to add to the two goals he scored in the Champions League quarter-final first leg 3-1 win against Paris Saint-Germain in tonight's second leg at the Nou Camp.
Suarez has scored 19 goals in all competitions but most importantly he has found the net in key games. He bagged the winner in the Clasico against Real Madrid last month and struck twice in the first leg against Manchester City in the Champions League last 16. However, despite scoring 31 goals for Liverpool in the Premier League last season, the prospect of proving himself in Barça's vaunted attack was intimidating.
"When I arrived I was timid with Messi and Neymar but they just said to me to play as I had done at Liverpool," said Suarez. "Now I feel fine off and on the pitch and we have a good time together."
Suarez said he has concentrated on being level-headed and that his team-mates have helped him fit in at the club. "I always have gone out to try and do well and I didn't listen when it was said that I was the best in the world or the worst. I am very self-critical and I carry myself the same," he added.
"When things were not going well for me I was grateful for the support of people close to me. The players always were behind me and so was the coach. At the moment I feel that I am helping the team with goals and assists but as long as the team is doing well then I am happy as well. It is not important who scores as long as the team progresses."
PSG will be without their Brazilian defender and captain Thiago Silva, who was injured in the first leg, as Laurent Blanc's side try to prevent their opponents reaching their seventh semi-final in eight years.
Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and midfielder Marco Verratti return for PSG after missing the first game through suspension.
Barça coach Luis Enrique will be hoping to celebrate his 50th match in charge by clinching a 42nd win. The former Spain international is the only Barcelona coach to have claimed that many victories in his first 50 games. (© Independent News Service)
Barcelona v Paris Saint-Germain, live, ITV1, 7.45