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Messi Said Two Words To Luis Suarez In Order To Unleash His Potential

In 2009, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic moved to Barcelona in a transfer that shook the very foundations of soccer, everyone thought that Barcelona had just tied up club soccer for the next 5 years. They would indeed go on to dominate the world, but not with Zlatan.

The big Swede could never gel with manager Pep Guardiola. When he was forced to play on the wing in order to make room for the uncontainable brilliance of Lionel Messi, things hit an all time low. There were disagreements, fights, inconsistent form, and reports of Zlatan yelling, “you are a coward!” at Guardiola. This was not all solely attributed to Zlatan being moved out wide, but it does give you some idea of what playing a player outside of his preferred position can lead to. 

Enter Luis Suarez in 2014. Again, Barcelona had secured the services of a striker at the absolute peak of his powers. Again, the question of where he would play arose. Messi had absolutely dazzled in a central role for years. Luis Suarez had become the best player in the Premier League occupying that same space. There was no Pepe Guadiola this time, but it seemed as if the team was doomed to repeat the same fiasco that had ruined the potentially world beating duo of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Messi 5 years ago. 

Today, we can see that this has become a non-issue. While he may have started out on the wing, Suarez is now playing striker for Barcelona, and is playing it brilliantly. He scored the winning goal in El Clasico, and over the weekend he added these two beauties against Almeria.

And Messi has just kept on doing Messi things.

So what happened? Why didn’t Suarez’ relationship with Barcelona devolve into an utter s***storm of drama and passive aggressiveness? There’s no magic bullet coming your way, in case you were wondering. Messi and Suarez solved this in the most boringly mature way possible, and it just might restore your faith in humanity. 

Listen to what Suarez had to say during an interview with the radio station El Partido de las 12.

“Honestly, I just ended up in the central position during a game by chance, and Leo said to me: 'Stay there.' Afterwards the coach saw that we’d come up with a good solution by ourselves, and we started trying it out. No one officially took the decision, but obviously from then on it was the coach who started putting me as number 9.”

When an athlete airs out inter-player relations on a radio show, we sometimes have to brace ourselves for some meaningless yet still noteworthy revelation. They’ll say they don’t get along with such-and-such, or that they don’t agree with the decisions of so-and-so. Not Suarez. He went out showed that superstar atheles can act like responsible adults. For a man that is most famous for biting people, that is nothing other than exemplary maturity.

Fair play, gentlemen. 

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