While Lionel Messi reached and surpassed the 300 goal mark for Barcelona in a 3-1 win at Sporting Gijon on Wednesday evening, striker partner Luis Suarez also reached an important milestone of his own scoring his 40th goal of the season.
The goal may not have been as important as Messi’s, but it means that Suarez is in a very exclusive club alongside Messi and Brazilian Ronaldo, as the only three players to have scored 40 or more goals for the Catalans in one campaign. That is esteemed company to keep indeed.
On-fire this season
Luis Suarez has been a prolific scorer of goals since his arrival in European football with the likes of Groningen and Ajax, before making his mark on the Premier League with Liverpool. His form on Merseyside earned the Uruguayan a £75million move to Barcelona.
His first campaign at the Nou Camp produced a very good return of 25 goals and 20 assists, but this season he has gone up to another level and been even more prolific, as part of the best attack in the European game.
Suarez is the first player this season from the top European leagues to hit the 40 goal mark and looks set to add many more goals to his tally before the campaign is out. The Uruguayan could have had another against Sporting Gijon, only for a superb penalty save by Ivan Cuellar.
Just gets better with more time at Barcelona
He was a fantastic talent at Liverpool and cut above most of the other players in the Premier League. None of his Reds teammates came near him in terms of sheer talent or football intelligent. Certainly nobody could complete with him when it came to hunger for the game.
He turned Liverpool into title challengers and made strike-partner Daniel Sturridge a better player in the process, he was that influential. The side from Merseyside have still not recovered from his exit.
Suarez had a delayed start to his Barcelona career, due to suspension, but in truth he has never looked out of place in a Blaugrana shirt.
The forward was the star attraction at Liverpool, but had the intelligence to know that he could not compete with the dominance of the majestic Messi in Catalonia, so took on the role of a very able assistant to the Argentine.
He worked even harder than he did in a red shirt and as a result seemed to earn the result of his more illustrious teammate. Argentinians and Uruguayans have not always seen eye-to-eye in the past, but the pair seem to enjoy a good relationship both on and off the pitch.
The same goes for his relationship with Brazilian superstar Neymar, the third of Barcelona’s version of the holy trinity.
The South American trio are on the same wavelength and the results are simply spectacular, as they have scored 88 goals between them already this season, despite Messi being sidelined through injury earlier in the campaign.
Going to gold-en
Suarez is now the second favourite to win the Pichichi (top scorer) in La Liga at odds of 21/20, with only Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo shorter odds to finish the campaign as Spain’s top scorer. It would be hard to back against the Uruguayan claiming the award this season.
His teammates will certainly assist the striker in the race for the Pichichi, as Messi recently proved by passing up the chance of a hat-trick against Gijon and also against Celta Vigo. Even Neymar who arrived at Barcelona as something of a diva has got less selfish in his play, so the Brazilian will no doubt also help his fellow South American in the race for the Pichichi.
When Luis Suarez joined Barcelona there were doubts over where and whether he would fit in with the Catalan clubs other attacking talent. On paper they looked like a dream team, but the best players do not always make the best team, in Barcelona’s case they do.
Suarez has not looked out of place at Barcelona and he has already achieved what some of Barcelona’s best players have failed to achieve in the goal scoring stakes. Something tells me the 29-year-old is just getting started at the Nou Camp.
Will Luis Suarez win the Pichichi this season?