Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has hailed Barcelona’s Luis Suarez as the best in the world ahead of their Champions League group stage meeting.
The two worked together at Liverpool, where Rodgers managed the Uruguay international for two years as he fired a stunning 54 Premier League goals under the Northern Irishman’s stewardship before moving on to Barca.
And, ahead of a confrontation with Suarez in Europe’s premier competition, Rodgers lauded the 29-year-old, calling him a “beautiful” man.
“At this moment in time, Luis is the best striker in the world,” he told a news conference. “I don’t think there’s any question about that.
“First of all, when you speak about Luis Suarez, you have to speak about the man. Luis Suarez is one of the most beautiful men you could come across.
“He’s a very humble guy who works tirelessly at his profession. He’s super-professional and a family man who gives everything for life as a footballer and for his family.
“I had the pleasure of working with Luis as a human being for two years and he was incredible.
“As a footballer, I think he’s the best in the world. The biggest compliment that you could give Luis is that he came to an already world-class team and he made them better.
“When I see them play now, Barcelona would not be the same team without Luis Suarez.”
And, given his quality, Rodgers conceded that it will be hard for his Celtic players to stop Suarez on Tuesday night.
“To stop him is very, very difficult,” he said. “Like all world-class players that you face, they always find the space.
“You can have all the tactical ideas, you can set up systems, you can park two double-decker buses in front of the goal, I think that some of the best players in the world will always find space.
“What you have to try to do is negate that and be as aggressive as you can in order to stop him – and that’s something that we will try to do.”
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