Luis Suarez has said that Lionel Messi’s exclusion from the shortlist for FIFA’s The Best means nothing because his Barcelona teammate continually shows why he’s the best on the pitch.
Five-time World Player of the Year Messi was the surprise omission when the three finalists were named last week, with Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamad Salah the players up for the award later this month.
“I don’t think that any award [Messi] does or doesn’t win takes anything away from what he has won and what he keeps on achieving,” Suarez said.
“It’s just like when I was scoring goals and deserved [to win] things, I was above all that. You prove yourself by working hard, with what you do in every game.
“The prizes that are worth more are the ones you win on the pitch. An example of that is being top scorer: no one can take that away from you because you won it with the goals you scored, proving yourself on the pitch, not because of a vote by players and journalists.”
Suarez, 31, is now in his fifth season at Camp Nou, during which time he has struck up a special relationship on and off the pitch with “close friend” Messi, who is missing from FIFA’s three-man shortlist for the first time since 2006.
“There are times when you don’t even need to look at him because you know he is going to put the ball where you want it,” the Uruguayan striker added of his chemistry with the Argentine on the pitch.
“There are times when you see a space that you can take advantage of and you don’t even have to tell him because he’s already seen it.
“That’s why, for many people, and for me, he is the best player in history — because of what he signifies as a player and for what he’s done in the game. You don’t need to tell him anything because he sees everything.”