Former Barcelona defender Carles Puyol feels Luis Suarez deserved to be among the final three candidates for the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or following his sublime performances this calendar year.
The Uruguay international made the initial 23-man list, but missed out on the final selection of three as Lionel Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo made the cut instead.
Puyol feels all three finalists are great players, but would have preferred to see Suarez make the list.
“Suarez could have been one of the nominees for the Ballon d’Or,” Puyol told Omnisport.
“There is just room for just three players and the three nominees are very good, but Suarez has performed spectacularly throughout the season.
“He won the treble and that is very difficult. He has some great stats in the first half of this season as well and he is working very hard in order to help the team.”
Suarez forms an attacking partnership with Messi and Neymar at Barcelona and Puyol has nothing but praise for the way the three superstars perform alongside each other.
“Barcelona have a tradition of having great players, mainly in attack. There’s Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o, Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Romario,” he added.
“We have always had top players, but it is true that our current trident is very dangerous, not only because of their individual quality, but also because of their understanding. That’s the most important thing for me.”
Puyol featured alongside Gerard Pique in the final years of his career, and his former central defensive partner has received his fair share of criticism in recent months for his attitude toward Real Madrid.
Puyol feels the reaction to Pique’s behaviour is exaggerated, though, and believes his performances on the pitch should be all that matters.
“People pay too much attention to these kinds of things,” Puyol said.
“To me the most important thing is to focus on the games and only think about football.
“I have the feeling that sometimes people prefer to talk about controversies, because then they don’t have to talk about their own results.”
Puyol retired before Luis Enrique took charge of Barcelona, and believes the current coach is one of the best in the game, comparing him to Pep Guardiola.
“Luis Enrique and Guardiola are two great coaches. They are both friends of me,” Puyol commented.
“I never had Luis Enrique as my coach, but I believe he is a very good coach. He showed it at Barcelona.
“For me, Pep was the best coach I worked with, but we could be talking about two of the best coaches in the world. It is hard to say who is better out of the two of them, because they are both very good.”