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Suarez: “Messi best in the world” as star set for Clasico return

Neymar, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez,

Luis Suarez, Neymar & Lionel Messi, FC Barcelona


Luis Suarez is pretty pumped for El Clasico this Saturday.

The Barcelona forward is relishing heading to the Santiago Bernabeu with his side as they could open up a six-point lead over bitter rivals Real Madrid with a victory in the Spanish capital.

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He is also excited about the possibility that Lionel Messi could return from injury to give Barca a massive boost after their talisman has been out for the last seven weeks through injury.

Uruguayan striker Suarez, 28, made his Barca debut at the Bernabeu last season as he returned to action after his four-month ban for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup. Barca lost 3-1 to Real in that game but Suarez and his teammates had the last laugh as he scored the winner in the return game at the Nou Camp later in the season and the Catalan club went on to complete a breathtaking treble in the 2014-15 season.

With Barca top of La Liga heading into this game Suarez told reporters on Wednesday that he’s confident but knows it will not be easy to beat Madrid in their own backyard.

“I’m going into the game on form and happy that the team is playing so well. We want to win this match and end it as well as possible. We know how well we are going to have to play if we want to win this one,” Suarez said. “We have to respect the manager’s team selection and do everything we can for this shirt. That’s what’s going through our minds. You never know what might happen. You could be on your best form but then nothing goes quite to plan. Everyone knows that it’s not easy to beat Madrid at the Bernabeu.”

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He has fond memories of what is arguably the biggest game in world soccer but believes a victory on Saturday would not mean Barca have already sewn up the La Liga crown.

“I remember watching the Clasico on TV and seeing Ronaldinho score. They’re great games where you see lots of good football. When you are out on the pitch you feel like you’re living every footballer’s dream,” Suarez said. I don’t think we’ll have won the league if we go six points ahead of them, it’s still too early to say who is going to win it. The league is going to be a long one and Atletico will be up there too, so this game won’t decide anything.”

The big storyline swirling around ahead of this game is the fact that Messi could return from injury after nearly two months on the sidelines. Suarez believes that will be a huge boost for Barca as he, Messi and Neymar will be reunited in attack. Suarez revealed that there is healthy competition between the stars of the Argentine and Brazilian national team as they all push each other to become better.

He hopes that Messi, who last played for Barca on Sept. 26 at Las Palmas before injuring his knee, will play some part at the Bernabeu on Saturday.

“Messi and Neymar Jr are understanding one another better every day. Off the field neither of them wants to think that they’re better than the other, it’s not a competition. They know that the best player in the world is Messi and that’s the way we’ll always understand things. Messi can change the game and he’s done incredible things in previous Clasicos. But it depends on the doctors and what they think is best for him.

“He has looked good while training with us over the last few days but it’s an injury that could take a sudden turn for the worse. Messi makes all the difference, but we’ll have to wait and see whether he starts or perhaps comes on later. At the Calderon he showed that he can come on for just twenty minutes and get you the three points. Of course Leo is the best because of what he’s done and what he continues to do. Neymar is on spectacular form and you could easily say that he’s the second best player in the world. As a team-mate, I’m proud to see him playing so well and doing what he’s doing.”

Follow @JPW_NBCSports