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Luis Suárez was giving an exclusive interview to the FC Barcelona media / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

[[DES_1]]Luis Suárez is very much looking forward to the challenges that come with wearing the FC Barcelona shirt in 2015. In an in-depth interview with the club media, the Uruguayan has discussed how things have gone since the day that he was officially presented at the club.

On the day of your presentation, you said your feet hurt from not being able to wear football boots. How do they feel now?
"I am a lot better, more settled. It had been so long since I’d worn boots that they bothered me a bit for the first few days. But you get more comfortable as the days go by".

Since your suspension ended, you’ve played almost every game. Have you managed to adapt to the team in time?
"When you come to a new club, it’s always difficult to adapt, especially at Barcelona. But I’m a professional and I need to adapt to whatever circumstances I come across. It is always useful to play as many games as you can, especially in my case because I was out of action for so long”.

Luis Enrique clearly put his faith in you from day one. What has the coach asked from you?
"He asked me to keep doing what I was doing before, not to change the way I play. I have become more settled with every match, more confident and all of my team-mates have given me support, and with that has come the confidence to play with more freedom to express myself”.

What would you say about Luis Enrique as a manager?
"We all know he’s very demanding. It’s useful to have a manager like him because you don’t relax at any time. I was encouraged by the fact that he was one of the people who had helped to bring me here, and he has given me the chance to prove myself every week, and that’s made me feel even more confident. I tried to show him that I came here for a reason”.

You have made the second highest number of assists after Messi. How do you think that role is helping the team?
"A forward always has to help the team, either with assists or goals. I am obviously a striker who likes to score a lot of goals and have done that in every team I have been with. I’m not scoring much at the moment, but I’m sure that with help from my colleagues, the goals will come. But as long as the team is winning important games as it is, then I’ll be happy whether I score or not. Although I do make high demands of myself”.

But are you feeling comfortable?
"Yes, because I feel like I am helping the team, whether with assists or goals. Sometimes good assists or passes are more of a reassurance than scoring simple goals.”Sometimes good assists or passes are more of a reassurance than scoring simple goals

Neymar, Messi and Luis Suárez are Barça’s main attacking threesome. Do you think such a forward line frightens opponents?
"I don’t know whether they’re frightened, but they do need to be careful against FC Barcelona because we have such high quality players. We all know how good Leo and Neymar are. Without underestimating opponents, we do know that they have to be wary because those two are capable of deciding matches alone. They’ve been playing together for a while and you can see from every game how good that is for the team”.

Is it easy to play next to Neymar and Messi?
"Yes, because they do such incredible things. You can never imagine what they are going to do. In training and in matches you start to realise just what they are capable of doing. I have to say it’s very easy to play alongside them”.

What would you highlight about each of them?
"Neymar surprises you with the way he plays and what he does. I am stunned by how quick his solo runs are. I knew he was quick, but when you see him on the pitch you notice it even more. And Messi can take on three or four players at once, and does it so easily that you can’t help being amazed.”


In the last few seasons, FC Barcelona have rarely played with a set centre forward, but that has happened this year. How is the team adapting to the idea of a target man?
"Each manager has his way of playing and his tactics. That gives the team more options under pressure. A centre forward means the defenders need to keep an eye on him and this gives the midfielders and wingers more space for manoeuvre”.

Is there much of a difference between Premiership and Liga defences?
"In the Premier and at Liverpool teams rarely close up shop. You always have space to move in, in which to take on opponents. The defenders are strong, quicker, more corpulent… I was used to them. Here they are more skilful, they complement each other and play tighter together. They know how much danger Barça can cause and so it can be quite difficult sometimes”.

Was Manchester City one of the hardest teams you could have been drawn against in the Champions League?
"I think they were the strongest of all the runners-up. Everyone knows how good City and their players are. We didn’t want to meet them, but they didn’t want to meet us either. We know that we are going to have to beat some strong teams if we want to win the Champions League. Beating City is a good target for us and a good chance to show people why Barcelona are here".We are going to have to beat some strong teams if we want to win the Champions League

You played City several times when you were at Liverpool. What would you highlight about Pellegrini’s side?
"They have the typical English defence, very quick and strong, and they don’t allow you much space. They have some quick, quality players in attack. They have a great coach and the kind of players that can decide matches, as they have been doing in the Premier in recent years".

What do Barça have to do to win this tie?
"We have to concentrate hard for 90 minutes, and then for another 90. We know it’s a nice challenge and that we have to do everything we can on the pitch. It’s so important for us and we have to stay united throughout”.

2014 is about to end, so how would you review the year?
"Personally I have obviously had a difficult time, and things have happened that are hard for me to analyse and that I would rather forget. But after that, I came to FC Barcelona, and that was a dream come true, so I can say that it’s been an incredible year”.

And finally, what are you hoping for in 2015?
"The main thing is my family’s health and welfare. Professionally, plenty of success. We are at a club where we can achieve success. We’ll try to win a title before the end of the season”.

 

Who is the best Barça striker ever?

"Ronaldinho. He had his finest period as a player here. It’s was great to watch him. I like the way he could leave defenders standing. I can’t really talk about Messi because he is the same age and it’s weird to say that he’s the best ever.”

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