Suarez makes Barca debut - but fans will have to wait for Messi link-up

The Uruguayan came on to play the final 15 minutes as the Blaugrana beat Leon 6-0 on Monday, but didn't feature alongside the Argentine on his Camp Nou bow
By Ben Hayward at Camp Nou

Luis Suarez made his Barcelona debut in the 6-0 win over Mexican side Leon in the Joan Gamper Trophy on Monday night - but fans of the Catalan club will have to wait longer to see the striker in action alongside Lionel Messi.

Barca boss Luis Enrique revealed on Sunday that Suarez would play a part in the game, but the Uruguayan had to wait until the 75th minute before he was introduced to an expectant Camp Nou crowd.

Messi, who received the Man of the Match award after scoring the first goal and setting up another, had already left the pitch by then as he was withdrawn among a cluster of changes with 65 minutes on the clock.

And Suarez, who was presented to the fans before kick-off following his €88 million move from Liverpool, was made to wait a little longer but finally came on with 15 minutes left.

The Uruguayan found himself celebrating a goal before he had even touched the ball, but eventually linked up well with his team-mates around the box as Barca finished with a flourish.

"Today has been an unforgettable day," he tweeted after the game. "Thanks to everyone for their affection."

Later, fellow summer signing Ivan Rakitic told reporters: "I am enjoying every training session. Everything is so much easier with these great players around me." And Rafa Marquez, making what was almost certainly his last appearance at Camp Nou in his final game before moving from Leon to Hellas Verona, believes his former club are in good shape. "Luis Enrique will motivate the players a lot," he said in the mixed zone after the game. "His teams always give everything. Barca have made some great signings and they have a very competitive squad."

As Marquez bade a final farewell to the ground he graced between 2003 and 2010, Suarez said hello to his new club after the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) deemed on Thursday that he can take part in football-related activities again following his initial ban for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini in the World Cup.

The four-month ban in competitive fixtures still stands, however, and Barca fans will now have to wait until October 25 for a mouthwatering meeting with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in which Suarez should make his full debut for the Catalan club and link up with Messi (and Neymar - taken off at half-time after his two goals on Monday) for the first time.

The Uruguayan, who has been training with his team-mates since Friday, will be unveiled to the media on Tuesday alongside sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta.