Neymar Jr was delighted to see his former Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez turn back the years with a hat-trick for Gremio yesterday (November 9).
Suarez, 36, netted a second-half hat-trick in a 4-3 win for Gremio against Botafogo. The Uruguayan took his tally for the season to 23 goals and 16 assists in 48 games across competitions.
The Barcelona legend’s former teammate reacted to the iconic forward’s incredible display with a post on his Instagram story. The Al-Hilal superstar uploaded a picture of Suarez celebrating with the caption:
“Three. (Well played).”
Suarez’s first goal arrived in the 49th minute with Gremio trailing 3-1. He latched on to a loose ball at the back post, cut inside, and fired home.
The Uruguay hero found an equalizer and his second goal of the game three minutes later. He brought the ball down with aplomb before finding the back of the net.
Suarez clinched a remarkable hat-trick and completed Gremio’s comeback victory in the 68th minute. The former Liverpool striker played a neat one-two before calmly tucking the ball away.
It was a performance that replicated the many impressive ones he put in during his six years at Barcelona. Suarez managed 195 goals and 113 assists in 283 games for the Blaugrana, playing alongside Neymar and Lionel Messi in a fearsome attack.
Suarez insisted Neymar would have won the Ballon d’Or if he stayed at Barcelona
Suarez boldly claimed earlier this year that his former Barca teammate Neymar would have a Ballon d’Or to his name if he stayed at Camp Nou. He said (via Football Espana):
“I am responsible for my words. If Neymar had stayed in Barcelona, he would have won the Ballon d’Or.”
The Brazilian superstar made an unceremonious exit from the Catalan giants in 2017, joining Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain. Barcelona wanted to keep the 31-year-old, but he opted to move to the Parc des Princes.
The former Santos youngster was heading towards the top of European football during his time at Camp Nou. He bagged 105 goals and 76 assists in 186 games for the Blaugrana.
However, Brazil’s all-time top goalscorer failed to somewhat garner the respect from fans while at PSG that he did during his time with Barca. He managed 118 goals and 77 assists in 173 games.
The Al-Hilal forward finished third in the Ballon d’Or rankings in 2015 and 2017. Those two finishes came during his spell at Camp Nou and he hasn’t reached the top three since.