MADRID (Reuters) – Luis Suarez’s debut goal for Barcelona was inevitably overshadowed by Lionel Messi’s Champions League scoring record but the Uruguayan’s opener in Tuesday’s 4-0 win at APOEL Nicosia is likely to be the first of many.
Suarez returned to action at the end of October after serving a four-month ban for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup and although it took him six matches to open his Barca account he has looked sharp and hungry.
The 27-year-old appears to have slotted seamlessly into Barca’s fearsome attack, in which he plays in a central position with Messi mainly to the right but with freedom to roam and Neymar on the left.
Suarez has made four assists in four appearances in La Liga without finding the net himself and said he had been relaxed about waiting for his first goal for the club he joined from Liverpool in the close season.
“I wasn’t anxious about scoring, I knew the moment would come,” he told reporters after the match in Nicosia.
“Up to now, I was helping the team in the best possible way,” he added. “The important thing is to get the results and that is what we are doing.”
Suarez said he was under instructions from Barca’s new coach Luis Enrique to fill the space on the right wing if Messi opted to come inside.
“It depends on the moment in the game. I am playing in the middle and Messi on the right but that can change,” Suarez said.
“If Leo moves towards the centre, I will move over to the right. That’s what the coach has told us.
“With Messi, we understand each other very well whoever is playing down the middle.”
Barca had already qualified for the Champions League last 16 along with group leaders Paris St Germain, who won 3-1 at home to Suarez’s former club Ajax Amsterdam on Tuesday.
Barca need to beat the Ligue 1 side when they meet at the Nou Camp on Dec 10 to secure top spot.
“We knew that PSG were favourites to beat Ajax and now it depends on us,” Suarez said. “We must be strong at home.”
Barca are two points behind leaders Real Madrid in La Liga after 12 matches and their next outing is at fourth-placed Valencia on Sunday.