Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has heaped praise on striker Luis Suarez after the latter scored twice in the Reds' comfortable win against Sunderland—declaring him to be Liverpool's version of Lionel Messi.
Suarez was a clear man of the match in the Merseyside's Week 21 fixture against the Black Cats—assisting the opening goal for Raheem Sterling before adding two more to his tally for the year—and drew high praise from Rodgers in his post-match assessment (per the Daily Mirror):
Luis [Suarez] was sensational; his cleverness in finding space is incredible. I was talking with Harry Redknapp after our game at Queens Park Rangers, and he said Luis is a Messi-type character.
He's a striker that has to play two or three times a week to be on top of his game—one game a week is no good to him. He needs to be playing.
And you see the response you get from him. His work has never dropped. Like Messi he is a real team player and trains every day.
He is never in the treatment room, and then he comes out and performs. As the ball moves, he finds the spaces. He's a wonderful talent, and it will be fantastic to see him develop here.
Suarez has now netted 15 goals and three assists in the 2012-13 Premier League season and has the highest average match rating from any player in the EPL this year, according to statistics website WhoScored.com.
The Uruguayan international has already bettered his goal-scoring record from last season—a truly phenomenal achievement when you consider it's only just gone January.
With the arrival of Daniel Sturridge to the club, the continued improvement of Raheem Sterling and the imminent return of Fabio Borini from injury, there is little doubting that Suarez is well poised to continue his success through the remainder of the year.
He is playing career-best football at the moment and is clearly the heart and soul of everything that Liverpool achieve in the Premier League this season.
Given his current performances and significance, it's easy to see the resemblance to Lionel Messi, who plays a similar role for Barcelona every week.
But in light of the incredible year that Messi just had, it might seem like a stretch to start comparing the pair just yet—especially when the season is nowhere near complete.
Skill wise and success wise, you'd say that Messi is streets ahead of any other player compared to him at the moment, but significance wise Suarez comes pretty close.
Few players mean as much to their teams as those two do.
Is Brendan Rodgers right? Is Luis Suarez Liverpool's Lionel Messi?
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