Suarez: 'It is a privilege to play with Lionel Messi'

Lionel Messi Luis Suarez Barcelona
The Uruguayan believe it is a privilege for him to be able to share the stage with Lionel Messi, whom he considers to be the best in the world

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has described it as a "privilege" to play alongside Lionel Messi following the latter's man-of-the-match display against Espanyol on Saturday.

Messi scored his 38th Barcelona hat-trick and the 42nd of his career to help Ernesto Valverde's side to victory in the Catalan derby, with Gerard Pique and Suarez adding further goals late on.

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The victory saw Barca pull further clear of Real Madrid at the top of the early La Liga standings, and after the match Suarez paid tribute to "the best in the world".

"They are three important points because they allow us to take advantage of our direct rivals slipping up, but of course, it is only the third match of the season," he told reporters according to Marca.

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"It is a privilege to play with the best in the world, [Messi] continues to show that people have a long way to catch him."

Real Madrid's failure to win at home to Levante earlier in the afternoon presented Ernesto Valverde's team with an opportunity to build a four point gap between themselves and Los Blancos.

Barcelona will next turn their attention to the Champions League, where they take on Juventus on Tuesday.