Barcelona forward Luis Suarez feared envying Lionel Messi and Neymar when he arrived
Barcelona forward Luis Suarez initially feared differences amongst Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr. and himself would preclude them from succeding as an attacking trio. However, the Uruguayan noted that since all the three of them have put their ego aside and have worked together, they have thrived for Barcelona, scoring a staggering 87 goals in Barcelona’s 28 game unbeaten streak.
Suarez was being interviewed by former teammate Jamie Carragher for the Daily Mail, and noted his initial fear of not fitting into Barcelona, saying “At first I didn't think I was going to fit into Barcelona's way of playing. There was a lot of tiki-taka and I was thinking that without a lot of space to play in, I'd find it more difficult. I worried about that.”
“But the help of my team-mates and the fact Luis Enrique ended up putting me in the number nine position meant I felt more comfortable. I've got a magnificent relationship with Leo [Messi] and Ney [Neymar]. You know if you have a good relationship with them off the pitch it will be that way on the pitch too. They took it as a sign that I had come to help them, not to compete with them.”
Ajax game changed things for the better
Suarez has scored a stunning 36 goals in 34 games for Barcelona this season, operating as the undisputed central striker as Messi and Neymar pivot around him. However, when he arrived at the club, he struggled having intially played on the right wing.
The Uruguayan noted when the change occured, saying “The coach made the decision. When we started off, I did not feel comfortable on the right and Leo didn't feel as comfortable. So there was a game against Ajax in the Champions League, where we said we would try to change it to see how it worked. We felt comfortable and we decided to stay that way.”
“The coach was completely in agreement because that was what he wanted to make sure that we all felt as comfortable as possible.”
Lack of envy enabled MSN to thrive
The success of Barcelona’s attacking trio wasn’t just down to a tactical switch, however. Suarez pointed out that the three have set aside their ego, placing the team;s interests above all, which conversely has meant that the trio have enjoyed successful seasons individually.
“I know what my strengths are and what theirs are and what the three of us do is play for the good of the team,” said Suarez. “We realise that Leo is the best and we play so that Barcelona win trophies. There is no envy between us three.”
“There have been cases in the past where some players have fought or argued among themselves and there has been some envy and the team has suffered because of it. That's not going to happen now.”