When it comes to beef, perhaps the best footballer of all time, Lionel Messi, is not very keen to experiment. He only trusts selected top professionals when it comes to preparation. His mother Celia Maria or his neighbor, whom he always calls by his first name: "I had the best grilled meat in Luis' house," says Messi.
Luis, this is Luis Suárez, whose cooking skills are known only to a very small group. Other than his qualities as a footballer, which a lot of people know to be world class. Suárez, Messi and all the other FC Barcelona players will need nothing less than a world-class performance when it comes to the quarter-finals of the Champions League against FC Bayern. The friendship between Messi and Suárez plays a central role in this.
The only ones in normal form
The insatiable bestia negra , the black beast as they say in Spain. Bavaria is in great shape and is considered a favorite by many, even if the brash tones from Munich were received with amazement in Barcelona. The fact that Robert Lewandowski is supposed to be better than Lionel Messi, as some former Bayern players recently claimed, is an excellent source of motivation. Barça in the role of the outsider. When did that last happen?
The players of FC Barcelona brought themselves into this situation, they gambled away the championship after the Corona break by dropping nine points in eleven games. Many presented themselves below level, only Messi and Suárez showed consistently good performances. Together they scored 41 goals in the league, making them Barcelona's most successful shooters. All the more astonishing since the Uruguayan had been injured for several months.
Messi's friends have an easier time
His skills have taken Suárez from Salto, a Uruguayan city on the border with Argentina, to Spain for FC Barcelona, where he is Messi's strike partner. And one of his best friends.
This is important if only because friends of the six-time world footballer, such as Arturo Vidal, usually have it easier on the team in Barcelona than those who are not in the Argentine's favor.
Antoine Griezmann is one of those. The French world champion came to Barcelona from Atlético Madrid for 120 million euros before the season and had a rocky debut season. In 35 appearances, he only scored nine goals in the league and two in the Champions League. In addition to the well-rehearsed Messi and Suárez, Griezmann is still foreign to this day.
Be good with Messi
The fact that Griezmann has not yet felt at home in Barcelona is apparently also due to the fact that the heavyweights of the locker room, which include Messi and Suárez, did not want him from the start. Last summer, the two stubbornly advocated the return of their former partner Neymar, with whom they had formed a triumvirate until 2017 that was unparalleled in Europe. The three of them were so good together that they were given a name of their own. El Tridente , the trident.
Griezmann came along, Barcelona officials had hoped to create a trio with him too. But the harmonization of footballers cannot be planned even at the highest level. Especially not where personal animosities play a much bigger role than assumed. Especially at FC Barcelona, where Lionel Messi has decided on many a career over the years.