Luis Suarez has confessed that he had doubts over whether he would adapt to Barcelona’s style of play upon his arrival from Liverpool in 2014.
Suarez joined Barca from Liverpool in a club-record €75m transfer after the 2014 World Cup, but he initially struggled to find the back of the net, having begun his career at Camp Nou on the right wing.
However, the forward was soon moved into the centre and subsequently forged a prolific partnership with Lionel Messi and Neymar as La Blaugrana lifted five trophies in 2015 thanks to the trio’s goals.
“At first I didn’t think I was going to fit into Barcelona’s way of playing,” he told former Liverpool teammate Jamie Carragher in an interview for the Daily Mail.
“There was a lot of tiki-taka and I was thinking that without a lot of space to play in, I’d find it more difficult. I worried about that.
“But the help of my team-mates and the fact Luis Enrique ended up putting me in the No 9 position meant I felt more comfortable.
“I’ve got a magnificent relationship with Leo and Ney. They drive the team, with Andres Iniesta as well – what a player.
“You know if you have a good relationship with them off the pitch it will be that way on the pitch too. They took it as a sign that I had come to help them, not to compete with them.
“The Coach made the decision [to move me into the centre]. When we started off, I did not feel comfortable on the right and Leo didn’t feel as comfortable.
“So there was a game against Ajax in the Champions League, where we said we would try to change it to see how it worked.
“We felt comfortable and we decided to stay that way. The coach was completely in agreement because that was what he wanted to make sure that we all felt as comfortable as possible.
“Honestly, I couldn’t be happier. It’s all natural, you know? We don’t sit there and plan it beforehand.
“Everything you see comes from inside. People don’t see it but inside the dressing room we laugh and joke a lot so it’s not just for the cameras.
“It’s the way things are off the pitch too. We are happy for each other, it is all natural. I’m not envious of Leo or Ney.
“Why would I be? If there is envy in the dressing room, you know it’s only going to affect results.
“I know what my strengths are and what theirs are and what the three of us do is play for the good of the team.
“We realise that Leo is the best and we play so that Barcelona win trophies. There is no envy between us three.
“There have been cases in the past where some players have fought or argued among themselves and there has been some envy and the team has suffered because of it. That’s not going to happen now.
“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.”