Barcelona striker Luis Suarez tells SPORT he doesn't "want to be the bad guy"

The Uruguayan says he struggled when it comes to certain aspects of leadership

Suárez explica su implicación en el equipo y el tipo de liderazgo que le gusta ejercer | Maite Jiménez

► You can read the complete Luis Suarez interview in Spanish here

Luis Suarez was self-critical in his interview with SPORT. The Barcelona striker spoke about the current season but also looked back on the last campaign when the season ended in disappointment with the debacle at Anfield. "Maybe we made a mistake by not shouting sooner, but don't want to be the bad guy," he recognised. 

When you see footballers that are indifferent, speaking of players in general, not at Barcelona, what do you think? 

Each person has their way of being. You have to adapt to every club, teammate or national team. With Uruguay, we speak a lot and we are constantly motivating each other. At Barcelona, we don't speak as much. When I arrived, I saw that they were used to another type of preparation before games and they've always won that way. You can't change these things. 

Would it be right to have to push some teammates a bit more?

No, each player has their way of focusing, their way of being and preparing for games. There are some that eat pasta and I don't like to eat past because I feel bloated. Others eat two meals the day of a game. They're different ways of preparing that each player has. 

When Uruguay fall, they always do so on their feet. That doesn't happen at Barça. Is it difficult to translate that spirit into a team?

It's complicated. The mentality of some is that you don't win anything by shouting. I think sometimes it can wake you up. Maybe that's where we've made a mistake, but that's the habit, the way of the players. 

Not yours?

No, not at all, but, even at my age, I hold myself back with certain things. Speaking with teammates... I think that I am going to shout at a teammate to wake them up, but I'll end up as the bad guy. You have to get used to it and adapt to the way of being. 

Do you not with your experience the team demands you to be more of a captain than in the shadow? 

You have to understand that no one wants to be the bad guy. It's difficult to explain to teammates that if I am speaking to them, it's for their own good. I want to transmit that 'I am speaking to you because you're important for the team and if you wake up, we all wake up.' But it is difficult. As for attitude, you try to be contagious on the pitch. Run back to defence, press... In that sense, the team should realise that if Leo, Luis, Antoine and Ousmane are running, why can't everyone else run? Come on! But sometimes it's difficult. 

You want to lead by example then.

I struggle with the issue of saying things to teammates because they can misinterpret the message that you really want to give them. 


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