Barcelona is not only a team but an emotion. People are going gaga over the Champions League. On Wednesday, Barcelona beat Manchester United 1-0 in their Champions League quarter-final first leg after a first-half own goal by Luke Shaw at Old Trafford.
After overturning a 2-0 first-leg deficit to eliminate Paris Saint-Germain on away goals in the last 16, Luke Shaw’s 12th-minute own goal means United have another Champions League mountain to climb on the road. Messi scored in both of Barca’s Champions League final triumphs over United, in 2009 and 2011, and is hungry to win the competition for a fifth time now after crashing out at the last eight for the past three seasons.
The teams meet gets to meet again at the Camp Nou next Tuesday. The image of Lionel Messi’s partner-in-chief has been described here by his darker side as ferocious and, occasionally, misguided opponent, running defenders tattered for the best part of a decade.
For Barcelona, who paid Liverpool over 80 million euros to sign Suarez in the year 2014, his contribution has been blurred less by indiscipline and more by Messi, the player around whom the whole team revolves.
Suarez is Messi’s provider, runner, and foil but has somehow managed to perform the role without losing sight of what he can bring too.
Barca defender Gerard Pique who played for United between 2004 and 2008 quoted “Playing here is always difficult because it is a majestic stadium, with history, a great atmosphere, and the fans push them on.”