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Luis Suárez celebrates one of his goal's in Yokohama in trademark fashion / MIGUEL RUIZ

Three-goal hero Luis Suárez was the standout figure in the defeat of Guangzhou Evergrande that booked Barça’s ticket for Sunday’s Club World Cup Final against River Plate. What’s more, it made the Uruguayan the first player to claim a hat-trick in the competition since it took on its new format at the start of the century.

In fact, the old Intercontinental Cup only ever saw one hat-trick, and that was the one by Pele in Santos’ famous 5-2 defeat of Benfica in 1962. The legendary Brazilian striker had also scored twice in the 3-2 first leg win at the Maracaná.

Up with the best

Suárez joins what is now a list of nine players to have scored three goals at the Club World Cup, who include Ronaldinho (1 goal for Barça in 2006 and 2 for Atlético Mineiro in 2013) and another familiar face at the Camp Nou, Romario (3 goals for Vasco de Gama in 2000). Leo Messi, who didn’t play today, is one of three players to have scored four times (2 in 2009 and 2 in 20011), but the top scorer remains Cesar Delgado, who got three in 2012 and two in 2013 for Mexican club Monterrey.

Yokohama saw Suárez hit three in a game for the third time since he joined the Catalan club. His first, in May 2015 was in the 8-0 rout of Córdoba and his second was in the 3-1 defeat of Eibar earlier this season. He’s sure in on fire this season, with an outstanding 22 goals in 23 matches.

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