Gerard Pique has explained the reasons behind Barcelona’s dramatic Champions League semi-final collapse against Liverpool earlier this month.
Ernesto Valverde’s LaLiga champions arrived on Merseyside boasting a 3-0 advantage following their semi-final first leg, but their dreams of reaching a June 1 final were dramatically crushed.
Barca, in shipping four unanswered goals to Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum, wrote “the darkest page” of a glorious club chronicle which also features 26 Spanish title wins and five European Cups.
The Catalans suffered a similar capitulation against Roma the season before and Pique claims the players were mentally affected by that match.
“When something like this happens, everything or almost everything has gone wrong,” Pique told El Pais. “I think that on a mental level, some people were affected by what happened in Rome because we had it very recently.
“With the first goal, which was very fast, unconsciously you see the image of Rome.
“Then two more came very quickly and it looked too much like what happened a year ago. Surely it was a mental block, but football was also missing.
“And they pressed very high, very intense, Anfield also played his role, we were not able. Sometimes happens. It was a very hard day.”