Following his official Barcelona debut in El Clasico, Luis Suarez tonight makes his UEFA Champions League return at the club he captained in the competition four years ago, Ajax.
The 27-year-old marks his comeback to Europe’s elite after returning from a four-month ban for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup. Suarez has expressed his excitement ahead of the game, having been in exile from club football's peak competition during his time at Liverpool.
“It's incredible, after many years at Liverpool without playing in the Champions League now it's great to be part of a team that has a good chance of winning. It's beautiful,” the Uruguayan told Adidas Gamedayplus, as relayed by the Daily Mail.
“It's incredible, after many years at Liverpool without playing in the Champions League now it's great to be part of a team that has a good chance of winning. It's beautiful"
Just to add that little bit more sentiment to the occasion, Barcelona travel to Amsterdam ArenA - the place where Suarez properly announced himself on the European stage as a street-styled goalscorer.
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Suarez scored 111 goals in 159 games for Ajax, five of those in his 11 Champions League appearances for the Dutch club.
“After so many years at Ajax, and scoring my 100th goal in a Champions League qualifier, it was a great memory.
“I spent many years there, my family was very content there, very happy. Having an opportunity to play there again will be beautiful, I will enjoy it very much,” he added.
Suarez also revealed he has struck a close relationship with fellow South American, Lionel Messi.
“My relationship with Messi is good. He's an Argentinian, so we got on very well from the beginning. He drinks mate (traditional South-American beverage) as we do in Uruguay and all that,” he said.
As well as Ajax, Barca’s group also features APOEL and Paris Saint-Germain, the latter of whom are group leaders and contain Suarez’s international strike-partner, Edinson Cavani.
The ex-Liverpool man welcomes the opportunity to play against his former compatriot for the first time, albeit wary of his threat.
He said: “I have never played against him, but everyone knows how good he is. His ability in the penalty area and he's a great goalscorer - so we must be very careful because if he gets a chance he won't miss it.”
Luis Enrique’s men sit second in the group after losing 3-1 in Paris on the opening match day. However they could still seal a last 16 place tonight with two games to spare, should they beat Suarez's former team and PSG see off APOEL.