Barcelona face Liverpool on Saturday in their final International Champions Cup game at Wembley and Luis Suarez is particularly excited to play against his former team.
Two years after leaving Liverpool for Catalan giants Barcelona, Luis Suarez returns to England to face his former side in a pre-season encounter, as both teams step up preparations for the start of the new league campaign.
In an interview with the Liverpool official website, the striker was quoted as saying, “It’s a really nice moment for the supporters. I have some friends there and I think it’s a really good moment to come back to play against Liverpool.
“I think for players when you play in front of 90,000 people, it’s a dream. Liverpool’s support is one of the best in the world and I think they are excited for the game to see great players on the pitch.”
Suarez moved to Liverpool from Ajax in 2011 for a fee of £22.8 million — a club record fee that was eventually eclipsed a few days later with the Reds’ £35 million signing of Andy Carroll. The Uruguayan went on to amass a staggering total of 82 goals and 53 assists in just 133 games for Liverpool. In his three-and-a-half year stay at the club, Suarez developed into one of the best strikers the Premier League has ever seen.
After a sparkling 2013-14 campaign with the Reds, Suarez completed a move to FC Barcelona for a fee of £75 million, making him the 3rd most expensive signing in history at the time. Since moving to the Catalan powerhouses, Suarez has managed to stand out in a team and a league housing superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Gareth Bale and Neymar Jr.
In 96 games for Barcelona, the 29-year-old has registered an astonishing 84 goals and 50 assists, with his 2015-16 campaign alone yielding 59 of those goals. His league-high tally of 40 goals last season saw him end the seven-year Messi-Ronaldo duopoly over the Pichichi Trophy.
Suarez was quick to point out the crucial role that Liverpool played, both in his football career and his personal life. He stated: “Everybody knows Liverpool is so important in my life, in my career, and my family as well. My second child was born there and I had a really good moment there. I think it’s a nice moment for me.
“It’s important for this game that it’s a friendly game because if it was in the Champions League or a really good tournament, it’d be difficult to play against Liverpool. But a friendly game is to enjoy.”
Suarez backs Klopp to bring success to Liverpool
Liverpool endured two cup final set-backs in their 2015-16 campaign under Jurgen Klopp, with defeats to Manchester City and Sevilla coming in the Capital One Cup and Europa League respectively. However, the last time Liverpool came anywhere close to securing silverware was when the Uruguayan striker enjoyed his best season with the Reds in 2013-14.
Despite the recent cup final heartbreaks, Suarez insisted that Liverpool are on the path to success under Jurgen Klopp. “The last few months, everybody saw a really good performance from Liverpool,” the Barcelona striker added. “They had a chance to win the Europa League and in the Premier League they played really well. Now it’s a new season, I think the manager [will] have confidence they can finish in the top four.”
The Uruguayan’s warm comments about Liverpool would have struck a chord with the fans, who still await the day when the Merseysiders will be among Europe’s elite once again.