SPAIN, April 1 – Uruguayan star Luis Suarez believes his success in turning around Barcelona’s fortunes in the past two seasons has been thanks to adapting his game to strike partners Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Heading into Saturday’s Clasico game against Real Madrid, Suarez is Barca’s top scorer with 43 goals in as many games this season. The Catalan giants remain on course to repeat the La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey triumph they won in Suarez’s debut campaign last season.
“La Liga is very different to the Premier League,” said the former Liverpool star who moved to Spain in 2014 in an 82 million euro ($93 million, £65 million) deal on the back of Barca’s first trophyless season for six years.
“Everyone knows that it’s completely different and what you need to do is always be yourself, don’t change, just adapt your movements and a few things FC Barcelona dictate, but the thing I cared about was being a good teammate,” he added.
“I think this is something I achieved from the beginning and one can see all the things we’ve achieved so far,” he declared at the launch of playful animations of Barcelona players, including himself, as part of an official partnership with the appliances company Beko.
Barca lead Real Madrid by 10 points with just eight games remaining ahead of Saturday’s clash, with a Champions League quarter-final against Atletico Madrid and Cup final versus Sevilla to come.
Barca head into El Clasico on a 39-game unbeaten run stretching back to October.
Turkish international Arda Turan has yet to taste defeat in a Barca jersey as he was only cleared to play in January after Barca had served a 12-month ban on registering new players.
And Turan has no doubt that Barca will wrap up a sixth La Liga title in eight seasons in the coming weeks.
“We feel great. We believe we’ll be the champions so we work harder every day; we fight more! I believe we’ll be the champions. We are the best team.”
The Clasico, the most watched game in world football, is Barca’s first since legendary former player and coach Johan Cruyff passed away at the age of 68 after a short battle with cancer last week.
A pre-match display involving over 90,000 fans will read “thank you Johan” with the same message carried on the Barca players’ shirts.