• Premier League

Suarez catching Messi and Ronaldo - Rodgers

ESPN staff
December 5, 2013
Superb Suarez

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Luis Suarez will soon be on the same level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo after the striker's superb four-goal salvo in the 5-1 thrashing of Norwich.

Suarez has proved to be the scourge of Norwich since their return to the Premier League, with his latest haul taking his tally against them to 11 goals in just four games - including three hat tricks. He also produced a fine assist for Raheem Sterling to round off the scoring with his first top-flight goal since January.

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Suarez is now the Premier League's top scorer with 13 goals, two clear of Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, despite missing the first six games of the season as a result of his 10-match ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic in April. He has netted 51 league goals in 84 appearances for Liverpool.

Rodgers said: "The modern-day world-class operators - the Ronaldos and Messis - it is all about the numbers and what they produce and it is not any more one and two, or two and three (goals).

"I think if you look at Messi and Ronaldo they have been out on their own for a couple of years. Luis is only 26 and I think he will make improvements to his game over the coming years.

"Sheer brilliance that was. Technically we were very good but to witness that was a remarkable individual performance.

"I always like to talk about the team but I think you have to hold up Luis as one of the best strikers in the world. Incredible performance. I think he is the happiest he has been here. He flies all around the world but I think this club suits him perfectly and I still think his best years are going to be here.

"The profile of the club, the connection with the supporters, you can see it is a hand-in-glove fit for him. The type of football we are trying to play allows him to operate in those spaces but you still have to be there to finish it off and that must have been a joy to watch for people."

The rout of Norwich kept Liverpool in the top four, after Sunday's wobble in the 3-1 defeat at Hull City. And Suarez is confident the club can reach their pre-season target and return to the Champions League for the first time since 2009-10.

"I think we can achieve what we set out to do," he told Marca. "My aim is just to help make the team better. My job is just to score the goals that mean we keep winning games and get as high in the table as possible.

"I am happy to be in the Premier League, the best league there is. I don't know about challenging for the title, but we want to be as high up in the table as possible and do as well as we can. I think we can achieve our target."

He added on Liverpool TV: "It was most important we won. I helped the team and I am so happy. It is good for me but for the club it is important for confidence for the next game.

"It is very important because we lost the last game and played very badly. We know when you play at home you have to be strong."

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