Luis Suarez has made Lionel Messi, Barcelona great again - Carragher
Former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher says his one-time Anfield teammate Luis Suarez has helped make current companion Lionel Messi the world's best player again and could even be No. 1 himself.
Carragher and Suarez spent two-and-a-half seasons together at Liverpool, with the long-serving defender retiring at the end of the 2012-13 season, and the Uruguay international leaving for Barcelona in an €80 million move the following summer.
Suarez has since gelled superbly with fellow Blaugrana superstars Messi and Neymar, winning the Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey treble last season, and being well set to repeat that feat again this year, while personally challenging Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo for La Liga's Pichichi top scorer trophy.
In Catalonia to work as a TV pundit on Barca's Champions League round-of-16 second leg at home to Arsenal on Wednesday night, Carragher said in an AS interview that Suarez, 29, had helped Messi to retake the position as world's best player from Ronaldo, and even had the potential to be better than either of those two superstars.
"Suarez is sensational, he's the best centre-forward in the world," Carragher said. "He's among the top three players, along with Messi and Ronaldo. He has contributed directly to make this Barca even better than the one [Pep] Guardiola managed. I thought this would be impossible, but he has helped make Messi the best in the world again. The challenge now, is for him [Suarez] to be No. 1, and I believe he has the talent to do that."
Arsenal go into Wednesday's return game at the Camp Nou 2-0 behind from the first leg, and with a recent slump of form seeing Arsene Wenger's side exit the FA Cup to Watford and slip off the pace in the Premier League.
Carragher said it was tough to imagine the Gunners pulling off an upset, and he wondered if manager Arsene Wenger would send out a team to just limit the damage against Barca's in-form attack.
"I don't think they [Arsenal] are going to come back," he said. "It's almost impossible, although that's just my opinion, of course. What will be interesting is to see if Wenger thinks the same way. And if he does, what team appears at the Camp Nou."
With it likely that England will have just one team [Manchester City] in the Champions League last eight this season, Carragher said one reason for this was that the Premier League's best players [like Suarez and Ronaldo] eventually left to join one of La Liga's big two.
"The problem is the same as always," he said. "That all the best players want to play for Barcelona or Real Madrid. The performance of the top Premier League teams is below the top four or five in the world."