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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Andres Gomes going through 'hell' at Barcelona: 'I'm afraid to walk in the street out of shame'

Portuguese midfielder has struggled for form since moving to the Catalan club from Valencia in 2016

Andre Gomes, left, comes on as a substitute to replace Andres Iniesta against Atletico Madrid and was booed by some home fans. Albert Gea / Reuters
Andre Gomes, left, comes on as a substitute to replace Andres Iniesta against Atletico Madrid and was booed by some home fans. Albert Gea / Reuters

Portuguese midfielder Andres Gomes has described his time so far at Barcelona as "hell", revealing that his struggles on the pitch have left him not wanting to leave the house.

Gomes, 24, signed from Valencia in July 2016 for €35 million (Dh158m), plus a potential €20m in add-ons, but has struggled since arriving at the Camp Nou, scoring only three goals in 72 appearances in all competitions.

Although manager Ernesto Valverde and predecessor Luis Enrique have defended Gomes, the Portugal international is regularly criticised in the media and whistled by his own supporters.

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"Maybe it's not the best word but (life at Barca) has become a bit of a hell, because I started to feel the pressure," Gomes told Panenka magazine.

"The feeling that I have during games is bad. Thinking too much hurts me, because I think about the bad things. Although my teammates support me a lot, things don't go for me how they want them to go."

Gomes, who has started only four games in the league this season, admitted that even beyond the pitch his life has been affected by his form.

"On more than one occasion I have not wanted to leave the house. People look at you and I'm afraid to walk in the street out of shame," he said.

Gomes was jeered by Barcelona fans during the 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid on March 4 after coming on as a substitute for the injured Andres Iniesta.

Should the captain remain sidelined, Gomes could be the replacement on Wednesday in the Uefa Champions League last 16 second leg against Chelsea.

However, Iniesta took part in some of the session with the rest of Barca first team, boosting hopes he could be in line for a return.

"There was further good news as Andres Iniesta, who has been out with a hamstring injury sustained against Atletico Madrid, was able to join the rest of the group for part of today's routine," a Barcelona statement read.

Also absent from the victory on Saturday was Lionel Messi, who was attending the birth of his son Ciro, but the striker is expected back against Chelsea.

Messi trained on Monday and, in celebration of the arrival of his third child, he was given a round of applauds by his team-mates.

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