Everton midfielder Andre Gomes has opened up about his time at Barcelona and has revealed he was unable to cope with the burden of playing for the La Liga club.
The 25-year-old recently completed his permanent move from Barcelona to the Toffees in a £22m deal. Gomes spent the 2018/19 season on loan with the Toffees and enjoyed an impressive season in England.
The Portugal international made 27 appearances in the Premier League last season and proved to be a pivotal member of Marco Silva’s squad. He previously featured in 78 games for Barcelona after joining from Valencia in 2016 for around €35m.
In his time with Barcelona, he won the league once and the Copa del Rey twice, but ultimately the expectation he put on himself proved to be too much for Gomes.
“It was a good experience in Barcelona. You learn from your mistakes. Not only about the good things. For me it was really good to play with [Andres] Iniesta, with [Sergio] Busquets, with [Lionel] Messi, with [Luis] Suarez,” Gomes claimed, as quoted by the Times.
“The problem was with me. It was the pressure and expectation I put on myself, not that of the fans or the club. The environment was really good. At that time I had one person I was speaking to, to try to help me figure out some issues I had with myself.
“When I go home and we have lost, or I didn’t play well, I don’t talk for two or three days. It’s not a big deal to have someone close to talk to, someone neutral who knows the environment. Everyone knows playing football you have pressure, but everybody has pressure on a normal day in each kind of job.”
Gomes has revealed that his time at Everton last season helped him rediscover a love and happiness. He added: “Right now, the big difference is the way I enjoy more the simple things: the training sessions, how many times I go to the gym, the times I am with my team-mates in the hotel, the times I am with my family, the games.
“When you enjoy and you are happy, you will give your best and be at a high level…but right now I am more open. That’s the big difference. I am more open to talk about different issues.”