A star is on the rise, and his name is Denis Suárez. The 23-year-old midfielder — who came on for the injured Sergio Busquets early in Sunday’s league match at Eibar and opened the scoring in the 31st minute to send Barça cruising to a 4–0 rout — was back at it again on Thursday night.

The lanky speedster, now halfway through his first season donning the Blaugrana kit, opened and closed the scoring in FC Barcelona’s 5–2 win in the return leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinals. Suárez put the Catalans up, 1–0, in the 17th minute, and after the Txuri-urdin managed to claw back a pair of goals, he netted Barça’s fifth of the evening in the 82nd. It was his second career brace against Real Sociedad.

“It’s a team I tend to do well against,” he said. “The first goal allowed us to find some more space, and you know what happens when the three guys up front find some space.”

It was quite like what manager Luis Enrique Martínez said when speaking to reporters after the game. Luis Enrique openly praised Messi, while Denis said he had a “special connection with Leo.”


Suárez continued to deflect attention away from his personal success.

“Our aim was to come out and dominate the game,” he said. “We wanted to keep up our good form because in the Cup we’re going all out for the title.”

Here are the highlights from what some of Denis Suárez’s teammates had to say after the game:

Javier Mascherano

“It’s not easy to replace Busquets, but I tried to do it well.”

“Our plan worked out. We feel like we played a good quarterfinal tie. The first-leg victory gave us some breathing room.”

Messi starts in the middle, but he can finish. That’s why he’s special and one-of-a-kind.”

Jasper Cillessen

“That save was, in part, thanks to Gerard Piqué, who covered one side while I jumped to the other.”

“I hope to play three more games because that will mean we have reached the final.”

Jordi Alba

“Nothing Leo does is surprising anymore. He’s the best in the world regardless of what they say.”

“The important thing is for us to win and get to the end of the season and be able to win it all.”

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