Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have shared the Ballon d’Or trophy for the past eight years, but Jamie Carragher thinks one man could break the duo's incredible streak.
The former Liverpool defender thinks Luis Suarez has the talent to pip Messi to next year’s title.
Carragher, who played with Suarez at Anfield for 18 months before his retirement in 2013, also included the Uruguayan in his top three players in the world.
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When asked for his thoughts on Suarez by Spanish newspaper AS, the Sky Sports pundit said: “Sensational. Luis Suarez is the best striker in the world,” per Sport Witness.
He continued: “If you ask me about the top three players in the world, I'd prefer Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
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“Suarez has made Barcelona an even better and direct team than they were under Guardiola.”
The 29-year-old, who joined Barcelona for £75 million in 2014, has scored 42 goals this season and is in direct competition with Ronaldo to win the Pichichi, the annual award handed to La Liga’s top goalscorer.
Suarez has scored 26 league goals, one fewer than the Real Madrid star.
Suarez can take Messi's crown
But after he was snubbed from this year’s Ballon d’Or final three shortlist (Suarez finished fifth in the voting with 3.38 per cent of the votes), Carragher reckons the former Ajax man won’t just be on the podium at next year’s ceremony - he can be crowned the world’s best.
“Many believed that it was impossible to say that, but he collaborated directly to Messi’s return to be the number one in the world,” Carragher continued. “The challenge, now, is to be the number one and I think he has enough talent to get it.”
Suarez has made a seamless transition to Spanish football, forming the finest attacking trio in the world alongside Messi and Neymar.
Having scored 103 goals already this term, it would surprise nobody if the Barcelona trio were voted first, second and third at the 2016 Ballon d’Or.
Champions League dreams
Carragher was speaking ahead of Barcelona’s Champions League tie with Arsenal.
The Catalan giants take a 2-0 advantage into Wednesday’s second leg at the Camp Nou and Carragher, himself a winner of Europe’s elite tournament, doesn’t think Arsene Wenger’s team stand much chance of reaching the quarter-finals.
“I see it as almost impossible, but that is my opinion, of course,” the former England international said.
“What is going to be interesting is to see if Arsene Wenger thinks the same. And if so, we'll see which team appears at the Camp Nou.
“They've lost their last game against Watford in the FA Cup, and that should get them more motivated.”
The 2-1 defeat to Watford should serve as fine motivation for Arsenal’s players, but motivation won’t be enough to stop Suarez, Neymar and Messi.
Who will win the 2016 Ballon d'Or? Have your say in the comments section below!
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