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Luis Suarez: The best striker in Barcelona's history?

Luis Suarez is the latest big name to leave Barcelona as part of Ronald Koeman's squad overhaul.

The Uruguayan leaves for Atletico Madrid, following Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal out the exit door at the Camp Nou.

It brings to an end a legendary Blaugrana career for the striker, who spent six years at the very highest level in Catalonia.

Suarez first arrived at Barcelona off the back of biting Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and was still serving his four-month suspension when he joined from Liverpool.

He made his debut in a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, but the picture would soon change for the better.

The MSN boom

With Lionel Messi and Neymar already combining well at Barcelona, the arrival of Suarez took the forward line to a whole new level.

The three South American attackers fired Luis Enrique's side to the treble in 2014/15, having won the Champions League, Copa del Rey and LaLiga Santander.

Suarez netted 25 goals, including one in the Champions League final against Juventus, and provided 24 assists over the course of that campaign.

Four trophies and a Golden Boot

The following season, in 2015/16, Suarez produced some extraordinary numbers to end the campaign as the top goalscorer in Europe.

His 59 goals and 22 assists helped Barcelona to win four trophies - the Supercopa de Espana, Club World Cup, Copa del Rey and LaLiga Santander.

PSG comeback

Although Real Madrid secured the double, having won LaLiga Santander and the Champions League - Barcelona had a couple of moments of glory in 2016/17.

Suarez played his part in the remarkable comeback against Paris Saint-Germainin the Champions League, while Luis Enrique also guided his side to the Copa del Rey and Supercopa de Espana.

During that season, Suarez scored another 42 goals and contributed 16 assists.

The end of MSN and Champions League humiliations

In the summer of 2017, Neymar signed for PSG to leave Messi and Suarez without the third member of their attacking trident.

Under Ernesto Valverde, Barcelona suffered back-to-back Champions Leaguehumiliations to Roma and Liverpool.

Nevertheless, Suarez still gave goal returns of 36 in 2017/18 and 33 in 2018/19 - including a hat-trick against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou.

End of an era

The Uruguayan's last appearance for Barcelona came in the 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

His final season at the Catalan club saw him notch 21 goals and provide 11 assists, bringing his total tally of goals in Blaugrana colours to 198.

Records

Statistically, Suarez leaves Barcelona as the best striker in the club's history.

The former Liverpool forward is the third top scorer, officially, in Barcelona's history, only behind Messi and Cesar Rodriguez.

He's also the only Blaugrana player, other than Messi, to win the European Golden Boot, while he's also the seventh highest foreign scorer in LaLiga Santander and the highest Uruguayan scorer in LaLiga Santander.

Messi's best partner

As well as being close friends off the pitch, Suarez and Messi have had an excellent working relationship.

Messi has set up Suarez 39 times during their time together at Barcelona - more than any other player.

Neymar, the next highest on 20 assists received from Messi, makes up just over half of Suarez's tally, while Pedro Rodriguez (17), David Villa (12) and Samuel Eto'o (12) come next.

As for assists from Suarez to Messi, the Uruguayan contributed 47 in total - the same as Andres Iniesta's record. Neymar (42 assists to Messi), Dani Alves (41) and Xavi Hernandez (32) follow.

A legendary No.9

Only two strikers have scored more goals for Barcelona than Suarez's 198 - Paulino Alcantara, who scored many of his 369 strikes in inferior competitions, and Cesar Rodriguez on 222.

This means Suarez outranks illustrious company like Eto'o (130 goals), Patrick Kluivert (122), Thierry Henry (49), Villa (48) and Ronaldo Nazario (47), to name a select few.

Source: Marca

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