Barcelona right-back Sergi Roberto has admitted the events of Anfield in the Champions League semi-final are still on his teammate’s minds heading into the new season – honestly adding that there is more pressure on the Catalan side as a result.
After losing 4-0 on Merseyside, Barcelona lost to Valencia in the Copa del Rey later the same week, and Roberto was clear and frank in admitting the way in which the season ended for the La Liga champions was a disaster.
Speaking on TV3, via the Liverpool ECHO, Roberto said: “We start the season with more pressure than last year because of everything that happened at the end of last season.
“But I also think we’ve gone up a level. The signings we have made so far have increased the level of the squad.”
Barcelona have certainly made some good signings since last year, with Antoine Griezmann coming in from Atletico Madrid to bolster their forward line and midfield prodigy Frenkie de Jong arriving from Ajax.
They have also kept hold of both Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele so far, both of whom have been linked with moves away.
If the Reds draw Barcelona in the Champions League in 2019/20, it will be interesting to see how the tie pans out. While Barcelona would obviously want revenge, the Reds have put down a real marker.
Barcelona are clearly still mentally scarred by the experience – and that will play on the minds of other teams coming to Anfield as well.