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Luis Suarez proved he’s still one of the world’s best strikers against Real Madrid

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The Uruguayan was back to his brilliant best

Real Madrid v FC Barcelona - Copa del Rey Semi Final: Second Leg Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

To all those who said that Luis Suarez was finished as a top level striker... hush now.

Sure, he’d gone through one of his typical dry spells of late, but when the big games come around, you can bet on the Uruguayan to deliver the goods.

He was back to his belligerent best at the Santiago Bernabeu, hustling, harrying and moaning his way around the pitch.

It’s what we all love to see. That ‘nastiness’ that seems to give him an edge over other top quality opponents.

Even before he’d got on the score sheet, the No.9 was getting under the skin of the Real Madrid players and fans, inviting silly fouls in dangerous areas, goading opponents who continue to fall for his antics.

For players like Sergio Ramos, who also has a similar style and competitive edge, he must be a nightmare to deal with... and he does love a goal against the eternal rival doesn’t he?!

Since his Barcelona debut on October 25, 2014, Suarez has plundered 11 against Los Blancos who remain his favourite opponent.

His first was a typical opportunistic finish, made possible by a great assist from Ousmane Dembele who continues to scare the living daylights out of Barca’s opponents.

When the Frenchman delivered an even better cross with just over 20 minutes to play, Suarez would’ve had a second had Raphael Varane not steered the ball into his own net.

The best was still to come as just a few minutes later, El Pistolero won a penalty and then converted it in sensational Panenka style in front of the Bernabeu faithful.

Talk about rubbing salt into the wounds!

As he departed with field shortly after, a sustained ovation was well deserved. Suarez had done everything asked of him on the night in what was, to date, Barcelona’s biggest game of the season.

Lionel Messi was quiet by his standards, though still influential, giving his colleague the perfect platform to headline another Clasico victory.

The win actually brings Barca level with Real now, 95 wins each since their epic rivalry began.

Considering that the Blaugranes were some way behind in that particular statistic a few years ago, the carrot of going ahead with another win on Saturday is there.

Real should already be worrying about that because in five of the last six Clasicos played at the Bernabeu, Barca have scored at least three.

And Suarez has always been in the thick of it...