‘PlayStation’ Messi urged to zap deal uncertainty
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.”