Each FC Barcelona player is a small, dry twig in a pile of kindling. Leo Messi and Neymar are the tinder. Luis Suárez is the spark.
That’s because, with three games remaining in the 2016/17 La Liga, Suárez is tops in the first division in game-opening goals, having given Barça a 1–0 lead on nine occasions — the figure rises to 14 if you count non-league games too.
Here’s a look at those nine La Liga games in which Suárez was the first player from either team to score (Click on the opponent to see the highlights):
Barça would go on to win eight of those games, with the only exception being a 1–1 draw versus Real Madrid at Camp Nou.
Suárez has also been Barça’s fire starter in non-league games:
|8.14.16||at Sevilla||54||Spanish Super Cup|
|1.11.17||Athletic Club||35||Copa del Rey|
|2.1.17||at Atlético Madrid||7||Copa del Rey|
|2.7.17||Atlético Madrid||43||Copa del Rey|
|3.8.17||Paris Saint-Germain||3||Champions League|
Suárez’s goal in the third minute against PSG, of course, set the stage for the biggest comeback in Champions League history, which saw Barça overturn a 4–0 first leg defeat with a 6–1 victory in the game at Camp Nou.