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Luis Suárez: I Regret Playing Against Leganés Before AS Roma Match

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The striker has admitted lacking fitness for the UEFA Champions League

FC Barcelona v SD Huesca - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

In a surprising admission, Luis Suárez has said he “regrets it a lot” playing against Leganés before Barcelona’s match against AS Roma in the UEFA Champions League last season.

“I regret it a lot, the match last year against Leganés here at home, when we were up so many points and the semifinal against Roma was in three days. I played the whole match. I got there a bit tired. One starts being conscious of that. The manager looks at those small details, which will help us this year for the squad to be more regulated in that sense.”

Barcelona were a comfortable 11 points ahead in La Liga when Suárez played 90 minutes against Leganés in a 3-1 win. Barça would lose 3-0 against Roma three days later and crash out of the UEFA Champions League.

While fans had suspected a lack of rotation as a culprit, it’s interesting to see the player admit it. There’s a question, also, to what extent Ernesto Valverde decided not to rotate, and to what extent he felt forced to by his star players.

If Suárez is saying that he didn’t, to some extent, pick himself in the lineup, then he is launching a barely-veiled criticism of Valverde. But if he is indeed saying he picked himself to an extent, doesn’t that also raise questions about the manager?