Monday 19 March 2018

Luis Suarez urges Barca team-mates not to 'drop off' after latest trophy success

Barcelona forward Luis Suarez
Barcelona forward Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez warned his Barcelona side to stay focused for the rest of the season after firing the Catalans to Club World Cup glory over River Plate.

The Uruguayan scored twice in the second half after Lionel Messi had broken the deadlock before the break, finishing the tournament as top scorer with five goals, his brace against River adding to the hat-trick he netted against Guangzhou Evergrande in the semi-final.

Capturing the Club World Cup caps a superb year for Suarez and Barcelona, who lifted five trophies in 2015, including the Spanish Primera Division, the Copa del Rey, the UEFA Super Cup and the Champions League.

But the striker urged his side to learn from the mistakes of last year's world champions Real Madrid, who failed to collect any more trophies in 2015.

"After a competition like this there are always teams that drop off and enter into a bad run, so we must keep going," Suarez told Telecinco.

"The most important thing was winning the trophy, which is what everyone wanted to do.

"You have to try and help with goals and I was able to do that this time so I'm also happy about that," he said on his double, which makes him joint-top scorer in the history of the tournament along with Messi and Cesar Delgado.

And the Uruguayan had a special word for Neymar and Messi, who overcame a groin injury and abdominal pain respectively to play in the final after missing the semi-final against Guangzhou Evergrande.

"We have to highlight the sacrifice that Messi made in order to play today," he said.

"He and Neymar wanted to play the game at any cost, but we should also remember the sacrifice the entire group has made this year. We are the best team in the world."

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique meanwhile confessed it would be difficult for his team to repeat the achievements of 2015 next year.

"The future is always uncertain in football," he told a press conference.

"The press make generalisations, but every year it gets harder to win. We have won a our fifth trophy of the year, which was always the objective. Now it's time to enjoy some time off with our families and then we'll return to the task of trying to keep winning. But the players know how difficult it is to win trophies."

He added: "We endeavour to win trophies while playing attractive football. Barcelona are a reference point for everyone who likes football. You can win when you have a clear idea of how to play and you have this profile of players.

"We have unique players. They all adapt to an idea, in spite of the fact we have lost important players like [Carles] Puyol and Xavi [Hernandez]. But the idea lives on, starting in the junior teams. That's one of the advantages the club has. Just two days ago Neymar and Messi weren't available and today they competed. That deserves praise."

Press Association

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