Luis Suarez should have known.
He should have known what Anfield was capable of. Even if he hadn’t experienced the hallowed ground on its most famous and raucous of European Nights, he had witnessed first hand how the excitement and passion of the fans was nearly enough to drag a lopsided and mediocre Liverpool side over the line in the league.
His once and current (but probably not future) teammate Philippe Coutinho damn well should have known, having experienced Anfield’s power during another impressive 4-3 comeback, the one against Dortmund in the Europa League quarterfinals.
Regardless, the two former Liverpool stars seemed stunned when the Reds mounted an incredible comeback. Indeed, the looks on their faces when Georginio Wijnaldum made it 2-0 seemed to say, “Oh no. We’re in one of their stories, aren’t we?”
That shock quickly turned into fear when Gini scored a third a moment later. And finally that fear turned into horror when Divock Origi completed the comeback that he started.
Now, speaking to Fox ahead of the Copa America, Suarez reflected on that night. And the quotes are oh-so-delicious.
”I didn’t want to take my children to school, everyone could see I was in a very bad way, I had days I didn’t want to do anything, they were very difficult moments.”
Suarez, apparently couldn’t believe what was happening. It’s amazing how even players who should know better, and should respect what Anfield is capable of, do not.
“I didn’t see it because we are Barcelona and we thought we’d have two or three chances to score, but we became nervous, we gave stupid passes away, we didn’t show the right attitude.
“When the first goal came we didn’t know how to react, we knew we had really messed up. After the game in the dressing room no-one could say anything, there was sadness, bitterness and disappointment because we knew we’d given an awful image.”
It’s a telling quote from the player. Even after losing in a similar manner last year away to Roma in the Champions League quarterfinals, the squad believed that it couldn’t happen to them, simply because of the badge on the front of their shirt.
It is this arrogance that has helped Barcelona achieve great things over the last decade. But it is also this arrogance that made them vulnerable to a team that believed they could win, not because of the badge on their shirt, but because of their talent, togetherness, and shared purpose throughout the squad, management, and fanbase. Well, that and Divock Origi.
At the end of the day, what really matters is winning the big prize, which was only made possible by the historic comeback. But dishing out some cold revenge on a couple of players who thought they were too big for Liverpool? Well, that’s just an added bonus.