Luis Suarez has confessed he hopes Cristiano Ronaldo's prolific goal return dramatically dries up as the two players battle it out for the European Golden Shoe.
The award is handed out to the player who scores the most goals in a season in Europe's domestic leagues, with appearances possibly being used as a tiebreaker, this year.
Marca.com quotes the Liverpool ace saying:
I'm proud to be competing with players of the level of Cristiano, Messi and Diego Costa. What happens is you toil away to score goals and then you get bored because they do it so easily.
It [winning the European Golden Shoe] wasn't my objective at the beginning of the season and then you start scoring more goals, so now when Real play I say, "I hope Cristiano doesn't score more goals."
Santiago Siguero of Marca.com also reported on Tuesday that the organisation that awards the Golden Shoe, European Sports Media, will decide on a tiebreak format for the competition should two or more players end up on the same amount of goals.
"According to ESM, Ronaldo has played three matches (30 versus 33) and 309 minutes less (2,655 versus 2,964) than Suárez in their respective leagues, the competition the award is based on. The Real Madrid scorer's average per game is 1.03 goals, slightly above the Liverpool striker's (0.93)."
Ronaldo has carried on his magnificent goalscoring form since his then-world record switch to the Galacticos from Manchester United. The player now has an incredible 164 goals in 149 La Liga appearances, per Soccerbase.
Ronaldo is currently on 31 La Liga goals, per Squawka, and needs just the one extra goal to win the shoe outright.
Suarez stepped up another gear this season and now dines with the best strikers on the planet. His 31 Premier League goals, per Squawka, almost took Liverpool to their first league title in 24 years, only for the team to lose their form at the final hurdle.
However, Suarez was named Footballer of the Year by his fellow professionals and by sports writers, leading Sky Sports' Gary Neville to say:
"He's been the best player in the league this season, an incredible performer and he shows he cares because of the way in which he reacted in the last couple of weeks."
Ronaldo will have the opportunity to win the Golden Shoe outright on Saturday as Madrid face Espanyol. Both players would be hugely deserving of such an accolade after two brilliant season-long performances.
Who has been the most impressive this season?
Ronaldo has led Madrid to the edge of yet another Champions League success, which would further their reputation as the competition's dominant force across history.
Suarez nearly fired Liverpool to a historic 19th Premier League title and, without his world-class goals and ability, they would arguably be half the team they currently are.
But if CR7 can get the goal he needs to win it the shoe outright, Suarez will surely be happy with getting so close to the player most now consider the world's greatest.