Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes has lifted the lid on the pressure and crippling insecurities he continues to face after struggling to justify his €55m move to Camp Nou from Valencia in 2016, going as far as calling the situation 'hell'.
Having emerged as one of La Liga's brightest talents at the Mestalla, Gomes has so far failed to consistently replicate that form since pulling on Barça colours, telling Panenka how he bottles up his problems and has been told by friends that he is operating with the 'hand brake' on.
"I do not feel good in the field, I'm not enjoying what I can do," the 24-year-old explained.
"The first six months were pretty good, but then things changed. Maybe the word is not quite correct, but it became a bit of hell because I started to feel more pressure."
Gomes paints a picture of what seems like personal torture as he struggles to deal with the enormous expectation that comes with being a Barcelona player.
"In training I am very calm. Obviously there are some days that I am a little short on confidence, because even in workouts it shows. You know that you have suffered [in a previous game]," he said.
"In training I feel comfortable with my teammates. The feeling I have in matches is bad."
As for dealing with the problems, it appears that the Euro 2016 winner feels trapped.
"I'm locked up. I do not allow myself to get rid of the frustration I have. So, what I do is not talk to anyone, not bother anyone. It's like I feel embarrassed," Gomes admitted.
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"It has happened to me on more than one occasion that I do not want to leave the house. That of people watching you, being afraid to go out in shame..."
He continued, [Friends] tell me I'm going with the hand brake. It bothers me that they tell me that I can do many good things. I ask myself: why do I not do them?"