Luis Suarez is hoping to see Lionel Messi and Neymar return for Sunday’s Club World Cup final after firing Barcelona past Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao in the last four.
Neymar was fit enough only for the bench for Thursday’s clash as he continues to recover from a groin injury, while Messi was ruled out just hours before kick-off due to renal colic.
Suarez stepped up in the absence of his regular attacking partners with a clinical display as he became the first player to score a hat-trick in the Club World Cup finals in the 3-0 win against Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side.
But the former Liverpool striker wants to see Barca back at full strength for the final against River Plate, saying after the match: “We were without two really important players and we had to be very focused to make sure the game didn’t get away from us.
“I hope Messi recovers as quickly as possible and is there for the final. He hopes so, too. It’s the same for Neymar and Douglas.”
River sealed their place in Sunday’s showpiece with a narrow victory over Sanfrecce Hiroshima, but Suarez is expecting a tough test against the Copa Libertadores holders.
“River are a team who have won the Libertadores and are very strong. They’re one of the greats of South America,” he added.
“We’ll see a very beautiful, exciting final and we hope we can take the Club World Cup home.”
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