Luis Suarez has underlined his happiness at Barcelona – and spoken about the reasons why he left Anfield for the Nou Camp in the summer of 2014.
The Uruguay striker left Anfield for Barcelona in the summer of 2014, months after Manchester City pipped the Reds to the Premier League title.
Since then the 29-year-old has struck up a formidable partnership alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar at the Nou Camp – winning the Primera Division, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League in his first season in Spain.
Speaking about his move to Barcelona, Suarez says it was a desire to be the best that fuelled the transfer.
“It was a dream to arrive at Liverpool but I never wanted to just settle for what I had achieved,” Suarez told the Daily Mail in an interview with his former Anfield team-mate Jamie Carragher. “I wanted more. I played for Liverpool alongside Stevie (Gerrard) and you and that was incredible but then I went on to have a lot more responsibility and even bigger clubs were interested in me. My attitude was always to keep growing as a player.
“That’s the mentality – don’t just play it, win it. My desire at Liverpool was to help get the club playing in the elite because they had been five years without it. We used to talk about it in the dressing room. If Liverpool are not in the Champions League, it is difficult to get the best players to come to the club. That’s why for me to come to Barcelona there had to be that opportunity to not just play the tournament but to win it.
“I’d have to say I enjoy myself a lot more, really. I don’t feel so much responsibility as I did in other teams. It felt sometimes at Ajax and Liverpool that it had to be me. Now, every time I go out on to the pitch, I enjoy myself and laugh. I have gone through too many difficult times in my career and I don’t want to keep thinking about them.
“That’s why, right now, I just want to enjoy every minute. I never imagined I would be playing with these players in the best team in the world. At Liverpool I enjoyed it a lot. I laughed a lot. We laughed a lot, didn’t we? But, at the same time, I felt a lot of responsibility. Perhaps that affected me the wrong way sometimes.”
Suarez was idolised by the red half of Merseyside during his three-and-a-half-year stint and, although he intends to stay in Catalonia for the foreseeable future, the former Ajax forward has not ruled out a return.
He added: “I’d prefer to stay here for many more years. I know it doesn’t always turn out that way. But if I had to return to the Premier League, I would only go to Liverpool.
“I wouldn’t go to another team. It wouldn’t be a move for money. I’d also love to play again for Ajax as they allowed me to develop as a player in Europe.”
Barcelona are currently three points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of the Primera Division, with a game in hand, and on course for another trophy-laden season.
Yet with the Premier League title race the most unpredictable in recent memory, with shock leaders Leicester currently five points clear, Suarez admits there are certain aspects of the English game which he misses.
“In the Premier League you never really know what is going to happen,” he said. “There is very little between the teams.
“Here, three or four teams aside, there is a difference with the smaller teams.
“I don’t mean this to sound disrespectful but there are some games where you look at the press and they are asking: ‘Let’s see how many goals Barcelona are going to score today?’ In the Premier League, you never know what is going to happen and that is something I miss.”