Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has hailed his former team-mate Luis Suarez for making Lionel Messi and Barcelona even better, while also opining that the Uruguayan has the talent to challenge Messi’s status as the best player in the world.
Barcelona are on a sensational run of 37 games without a loss, with Luis Suarez leading the goals and assists charts in Luis Enrique’s squad this season.
The Uruguay international is just a solitary goal behind Cristiano Ronaldo in La Liga’s goalscoring stakes, but the former Liverpool striker also has the most assists in the league so far.
Carragher hails Suarez’s role in improving Messi and Barcelona
Lionel Messi won a record 5th Ballon d’Or earlier this year, breaking Cristiano Ronaldo’s two-year hold on the top individual price in world football.
Former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher is of the opinion that it was Luis Suarez who helped make the Catalans great again following his move from Liverpool in June 2014.
“Suarez is sensational, he’s the best centre-forward in the world,” Carragher was quoted as saying by ESPN FC.
“He’s among the top three players, along with Messi and Ronaldo. He has contributed directly to make this Barca even better than the one [Pep] Guardiola managed. I thought this would be impossible, but he has helped make Messi the best in the world again.
“The challenge now, is for him [Suarez] to be No. 1, and I believe he has the talent to do that.”
Is Suarez good enough to be No. 1?
The Uruguay international is statistically the best player in La Liga currently. Suarez has scored 36 times in 35 games, assisting 14 more goals in all competitions in 2015-16.
When compared to Lionel Messi, that tally looks even more impressive. The Argentine international has scored 31 goals in 31 games, assisting 11 goals in the process.
While Messi has played fewer games due to his prolonged injury absence in late 2015, it is easy to see why Carragher is of the opinion that Suarez can challenge the Argentine superstar, with their goals to game ratio almost equivalent.
The comparison to Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo makes it clearer that Suarez could be the challenger to Messi’s throne.
Neymar has scored 10 goals fewer than Suarez — 22 times in 32 games — while assisting the same number of goals.
Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 40 in 37 games, while assisting 13 more goals, and it will be interesting to see if Suarez can catch him in the goalscoring department.
While the stats do present an accurate picture of his undeniable quality, it is also his work on the pitch that makes Suarez such a special player. His humility, team-oriented outlook and incredible work-rate make him an invaluable part of the Catalans’ squad.
With Ronaldo ageing and Neymar still some way off in terms of reaching his peak, it is not inconceivable to think that the next challenger to Lionel Messi will be his Uruguayan team-mate.