‘Luis Suarez is No Servant to Lionel Messi:’ Martin Lasarte

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | July 24, 2014 12:33 PM EST

Lionel Messi may be the greatest footballer on earth at the moment but Luis Suarez is not going play the second fiddle in FC Barcelona. That is what Martin Lasarte, the former Uruguay national coach, believes.

REUTERS/Phil Noble/Files
Liverpool's Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring during their English Premier League soccer match against Everton at Goodison Park in Liverpool, northern England, in this October 1, 2011 file photo. Barcelona have agreed to buy Suarez from Liverpool, the two clubs said on July 11, 2014.

Barcelona bought the renowned Liverpool striker for a whopping $140 million, according to speculations. Lasarte appreciated the footballing talents of the 27-year-old striker. He said that Suarez would not be Messi's "servant" at the club. "I see Luis contributing collectively, but not as a servant to others," he said. He also said that the attacking trio of the club in the form of Messi, Neymar and Suarez would be "tremendous." "In this attack there is talent, scoring power, personality and winning character," Lasarte said.

Suarez had a pretty eventful tournament at the FIFA World Cup 2014. While he was responsible for Uruguay's emphatic win against England in the group stages, the very next match against Italy turned out to be a major milestone in his career for all the wrong reasons. Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini accused Suarez of biting him on the shoulder.

Interestingly, this was not the first time the Uruguay striker was accused of biting a player. Suarez was eventually proved guilty of the offence. FIFA banned him for four months, barring him from any kind of activity related to the game. And then, he ended up being a part of the biggest transfer of the season.

It will, however, not be possible for Suarez to be a part of Barcelona's proceedings in the early part of the gaming season due to the ban. Opinions divide when it comes to Suarez's ban. While footballing icons like Pele found it justified, Lasarte said that the punishment was crazy and excessive." Even Iago Aspas, Suarez's former team-mate at Liverpool, said that the biting offence was treated like murder. "They are treating Luis like a murderer and not like a footballer," Aspas said. Argentine legend Diego Maradona too criticised FIFA for the "harsh" punishment.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: REUTERS/Phil Noble/Files / )
Liverpool's Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring during their English Premier League soccer match against Everton at Goodison Park in Liverpool, northern England, in this October 1, 2011 file photo. Barcelona have agreed to buy Suarez from Liverpool, the two clubs said on July 11, 2014.
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