Suarez is the best No. 9 in the world, says Diego Forlan

Updated: Oct 08, 2019, 07:51 IST | Ronald Chettiar | Mumbai

Legendary Uruguay striker Diego Forlan, in the city to promote La Liga, rates compatriot above top strikers Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

Suarez celebrates his dramatic goal. Pic/ Getty Images
Suarez celebrates his dramatic goal. Pic/ Getty Images

Less than 24 hours after Barcelona striker Luis Suarez scored off a stunning bicycle kick to help the Spanish giants to a 4-0 win in a Spanish League match against Sevilla, his compatriot and Uruguay legend Diego Forlan hailed him as the best No. 9 in the world.

2010 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball winner Forlan felt that Suarez's brilliance as a supporting striker to No. 10 Lionel Messi makes him better than even Portugal super star Cristiano Ronaldo.

"When it comes to Ronaldo and Messi, they are both great but Suarez, as a No. 9, is the best, and ahead them," Forlan told a select media gathering at a city hotel yesterday during the announcement of the partnership between tyre manufacturers BKT and La Liga.

Uruguayan legend Diego Forlan at a city hotel yesterday

When prodded to choose between the two, the former Manchester United and Atletico Madrid star couldn't. "It's difficult to choose between Ronaldo and Messi. Even when it comes to fans, some have Messi as their favourite, while others have Ronaldo," said Forlan, who played for Indian Super League (ISL) side Mumbai City FC in 2016, making 11 appearances and scoring five goals.

Forlan, 40, said he is moving towards coaching next.

Barcelona's Luis Suarez scores off an acrobatic effort in a La Liga match against Sevilla at the Camp Nou on Sunday.  Pic/AFP

"I have got my coaching badges from Latin America which makes me eligible to coach there and in Asia. I would love to coach in India. I had a good time when I was here last time. Next year, I will be preparing for the UEFA coaching badges. I've been travelling a lot, trying to build a coaching team. I am spending a lot of time watching games. I have been playing all around the world, so as a coach I can coach anywhere," said the frizzy-haired Forlan, who has scored 36 goals in 112 matches for Uruguay.

When asked why has it been tough for Indian players to make an impact in European football, Forlan felt that the clubs abroad have a certain perception that is hard to break. "For European clubs, it's difficult to pick an Indian player because they think whether the player will be able to adapt as the culture and the language is different. But this is incorrect. [India captain] Sunil Chhetri played in Europe. Maybe he came back soon. Had he stayed there [at Sporting Lisbon], he might have been playing in one of Europe's top leagues today," said the two-time winner of the Pichichi Trophy (2005 and 2009) awarded to the highest goal-scorer in the La Liga.

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