Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard believes that Luis Suarez is currently the world’s best player.
The Barcelona superstar has shone in the absence of Lionel Messi prior to the four-time Ballon d’Or winner’s recent return from injury, and alongside teammate Neymar, the Uruguay striker has been key to a Barca side that has streaked away at the top of La Liga.
Both the Brazil captain and the ex-Liverpool star have netted 20 of Barca’s last 21 goals prior to Tuesday’s 6-1 drubbing of Roma and the Champions League holders hammered fierce rivals Real Madrid in stunning fashion on Saturday as they ran riot with a 4-0 win in el Clasico.
Suarez has netted 11 league goals for the Spanish side so far this term and added a further two to his overall tally on Tuesday against the Italians to take his season’s haul to 17.
Gerrard, who captained the Reds as Suarez netted 31 goals in the 2013-2014 campaign, thinks that his old teammate is currently the best player on the planet, given Messi’s lengthy absence with injury.
The ex-England skipper feels that the South American is operating at a higher level than both Neymar and Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
Gerrard told BT Sport: “I think on current form, Suarez is number one in the world. For me right now, he’s the best.
“I think him and Neymar are currently on par, but the goals Suarez scores are world class.
“He’s ahead of Ronaldo for sure, and his volley [against Roma] is world class. He is incredible.”
Gerrard could be forgiven for taking satisfaction in seeing his friend reach the current level after convincing the Uruguayan to snub overtures from Arsenal in 2013 in favour of staying one more campaign at Anfield.
In May this year, it was reported that Gerrard had urged Suarez to ignore interest from the Gunners in order to play his way into the crosshairs of Barcelona, prior to the campaign that saw the striker crowned double Player of the Year under Brendan Rodgers.
The Express quoted Suarez as saying earlier this year: “I do owe so much to Steven when Arsenal wanted to sign me. We had a private conversation and he said: ‘Give us another season and wait for Barcelona, you are too good for Arsenal’.
“It is the best advice he could have given. If it was not for him I might not be at Barcelona now.”
The victory over Roma confirmed Barca’s place in the last 16 of the Champions League and Luis Enrique’s men will continue in the competiton with the aim of becoming the first ever team to retain the trophy in its current guise.
The return of arguably the planet’s best player Messi is an ominous warning to the rest of European football, but Enrique’s men made light of the absence of the Argentina forward, winning their last five games in La Liga, notching up 17 goals in the process.