Luis Suarez left Liverpool for Barcelona with the best wishes of almost the entire fanbase six years ago.
The Uruguayan forward was magnificent for the Reds during his three-and-a-half seasons on Merseyside, scoring 82 goals in 133 games.
Of course, Liverpool’s supporters were desperate to see Suarez stay – but they knew he couldn’t turn down the opportunity of playing alongside Lionel Messi and co. at Camp Nou.
Liverpool supporters’ goodwill for Suarez remained intact until last season’s Champions League semi-finals.
Suarez celebrated wildly after scoring in Barça’s 3-0 first-leg win over his former employers, while other little incidents over the two games also resulted in Reds losing respect for the South American.
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Despite this, Suarez has still spoken with pride about his ex-club’s Premier League title triumph in an in-depth interview with Liverpool’s official website.
We’ll start, though, with his explanation about *that* celebration against Liverpool.
“In the last year when I played there at Anfield I was so sad for the supporters [that we missed out on the title]. I know some Liverpool supporters were angry with me because I celebrated a goal against Liverpool here in Camp Nou [last season] and for that I am so sad,” Suarez admitted. “I accept that and I say that hopefully they understand my situation: we were playing at home and in the Champions League semi-final.
“I lived one of the best moments of my life there and I think the supporters didn’t forget how my attitude was in the Liverpool shirt. Now hopefully they are so happy with the Premier League trophy this year.”
On seeing Liverpool finally win the title following a 30-year wait, Suarez continued: “For me, this is amazing for the supporters, for the players and for the so many people working inside Liverpool. So many people work there and for the last 30 years they didn’t know how it felt for Liverpool to win the Premier League.
“They have a really good chance to enjoy this this time and I think they are so happy and they are excited for the moment that Jordan [Henderson] gets the trophy. I think they needed this moment, for the Liverpool supporters, for the Liverpool club, for the people, for the Scouse people. I am so happy for them.”
Suarez is particularly thrilled for Henderson, who has proved all of his doubters wrong in recent years to become a Champions League and Premier League-winning captain.
“When I saw last year [him winning] the Champions League, I was so happy for him,” Suarez added. “Why? Because as some people know he had some problems with his dad and he had really good moments and some bad moments in Liverpool.
“When he lifted the trophy, the dream is done but this season I [will be happy to] see him lifting the [Premier League] trophy because he is a really good person. I speak sometimes with him and I said to him, ‘You have a really good chance this season’ and he is so excited.
“We watch some [Liverpool] games when we can and we see that Jordan, he is the captain from the midfield. He speaks a lot and for his teammates this is so important, when they have confidence with the captain. For me, Jordan is one of the best captains in Liverpool’s history.”
Suarez also believes that Steven Gerrard, Liverpool’s previous captain, was the perfect teacher for Henderson.
“I am so happy for [Henderson] because when he arrived in Liverpool they had a not-really-good moment,” the 33-year-old said. “He came in from Sunderland and it’s difficult for an English player, when they come to a bigger club. I think when he had near him Steven Gerrard, he can see how Stevie is, how he is all of Liverpool. I think the best teacher he had is Steven.”
Suarez also looks back on his Liverpool spell with great pride and fondness, despite enduring some crushing lows along the way.
“I think one of the best moments of my life I lived in Liverpool [during] this season [2013-14] because I would shoot from 40 yards and I would score! I had so much confidence and the supporters, they helped me.
“I tried my best on the pitch and I miss a lot the support of the Liverpool fans on the pitch.”
Perhaps this interview will help Suarez to rebuild a few bridges with the same supporters who once adored him.