He didn’t make the three-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or, but Luis Suarez remains a magnificent striker.
The world’s best, according to team-mate Lionel Messi.
After winning his fifth Ballon d’Or award at Monday’s ceremony, Messi revealed that the Uruguayan is the best striker in the business in his eyes.
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Suarez and Messi were part of the MSN triumvirate, rounded off by Neymar, that scored 137 goals in 2015.
Despite Suarez’s absence from the final Ballon d’Or vote, Messi still regards the former Liverpool forward as football’s best goal-getter.
“It is difficult to compare him to all the ones [strikers] I have played alongside,” Messi told FIFA.
“There have been so many. What I can say is that he is the best out-and-out forward there is in the game today.
"He has so much to offer the team and it is a pleasure to play alongside him. We also have a very good relationship off the pitch and I am very happy to be sharing everything with him."
It marks a stunning turnaround for the Uruguayan. Suarez’s Barcelona debut was delayed after he was hit with a four-month ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup, but he hasn’t looked back since that making his first appearance against Real Madrid.
The 28-year-old has scored 20 goals in 23 appearances this season and is tied atop the La Liga goalscoring chart.
Messi didn’t exclude Neymar from his praise.
“The fact is that I get on very well with Neymar,” Messi said.
“He has said nice things about me ever since he arrived at the club. It makes me feel very happy to hear a friend and a colleague talk like that.”
On the MSN partnership, Messi attributed their success to a clear understanding between the three players, neither of whom think of themselves as bigger than the club.
"I think [MSN's success] is all down to the chemistry between the three of us, both on and off the pitch and the type of people that we are too.
"We all want the best for the team, for the squad. That is more important than anything else."
You wouldn't bet against the trio making the podium at next year's Ballon d'Or.