An all new season but the same old Barça led by the new 29-year old blonde Messi. And apparently with some cunning summer signings, the team looks solid on paper and dished out a eye-catching performance even with stars like Iniesta, Mascherano and Jeremy Mathieu out injured.
Captain Messi endured a difficult summer with Argentina, missing a penalty in the Copa America final defeat before announcing and then reversing his retirement from the national team.
But he rebounded by scoring twice in Barcelona’s first league game of the season and set up Suarez for his second of three goals on the day.
“Leo has started like a beast and is the best player in the world,” Suarez said. “All you can do is surrendered to his feet and enjoy him.”
Suarez also said Barcelona were eager to retain the Spanish title for a third straight season.
“Barcelona is always the favourite and one of the candidates to win the league,” he said. “Always there are three or four teams fighting for it. We have to show fight because we are the holders.
“We had to start strong at home, it is always important. Obviously on an individual level I like the satisfaction of being able to help the team, that’s what is essential.”
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique praised his goal scorers’ latest impressive contribution — Barca recently won the Spanish Supercopa over two legs against Sevilla — before indicating they could yet add a further signing to their squad.
Samuel Umtiti and Denis Suarez were given their league debuts from the start, while fellow summer recruit Lucas Digne came off the bench.
Another player who has impressed is Turkish playmaker Arda Turan. Having endured a difficult last season due to the transfer ban and a subsequent string of poor performances did him no favour and he looked to be on his way out of the club. But 3 goals in 2 matches have shown his detractors he isn’t a spent force yet and has the manager’s full backing.
With Neymar and Rafinha yet to return after the Olympics, this team can get only stronger. Barça have an exceptional starting 11 and a world class bench from which to choose from. Luis Enrique will have his hands full for the entire campaign and as things stand, Barça are the firm favourites for another go at the treble and the team to beat in Europe this season.
And Cristiano Ronaldo is surely going to have headaches as Suárez has started with a bang and all set to reclaim the Pichichi if this ominous form continues.