‘PlayS­ta­tion’ Messi urged to zap deal un­cer­tainty

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE in Barcelona

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez hopes team­mate Lionel Messi will fol­low his lead by sign­ing a long-term deal to see out the re­main­der of his prime years at Camp Nou.

Suarez cel­e­brated a new five-year con­tract with a pair of goals in a 4-1 derby rout of Es­panyol on Sun­day as Barca closed to within three points of La Liga leader Real Madrid.

How­ever, the Uruguayan was over­shad­owed by a se­ries of mes­meric Messi moves.

The Ar­gen­tine su­per­star wrig­gled through Es­panyol de­fend­ers be­fore cap­ping his dis­play with the host’s fourth goal in the 89th minute.

“He is a big boy and knows what he has to de­cide,” Suarez told TV chan­nel Mo­vis­tar of Messi, who has 18 months re­main­ing on his deal.

“He also knows where he is happy and we hope for ev­ery­one’s ben­e­fit he stays here, but he is the one that has to take the de­ci­sion.”

The rea­son Barca will be des­per­ate to cling onto the five-time world player of the year was il­lus­trated by one par­tic­u­lar mo­ment of bril­liance as Messi wove through five Es­panyol de­fend­ers be­fore his shot was saved and Suarez swept home the re­bound for his sec­ond of the night.

The strike was Suarez’s 12th of the sea­son to move the former Liver­pool star even with Messi as the league’s top scorer.

“Leo’s move (for the sec­ond goal) is a PlayS­ta­tion move from a unique player that only he can do,” said Suarez.

Barca boss Luis En­rique said Real’s early-sea­son form has been tough to live with, but he is hop­ing for a spring slump by Madrid sim­i­lar to the one Barca had last year.

En­rique’s squad lost three in a row in April af­ter trav­el­ing to Ja­pan for the Club World Cup. Real re­turns, as vic­tor, from that com­pe­ti­tion this week.

“What in­ter­ests us now are the six months left of the sea­son and the ob­jec­tive is to get back to win­ning more ti­tles,” said En­rique.

“To do that we are on the right course. Per­haps in La Liga we are not in the po­si­tion we would like, but we have to ac­cept Real Madrid is post­ing spec­tac­u­lar num­bers and we haven’t been as con­sis­tent at home as we are used to.

“There is still a long way to go. Last year showed what can hap­pen in the fi­nal weeks of the sea­son.

“We will give it ev­ery­thing un­til the end.”

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