Barcelona striker Luis Suarez said he felt “privileged” after scoring four goals against Deportivo La Coruna to move ahead of Brazilian Ronaldo’s tally of 48 goals in a season for the club.
The Uruguayan, who moved on to 49 goals in 48 games in the campaign, inspired Barca to an 8-0 rout of Deportivo, ending a run of four games without a league win and reigniting their bid to retain the La Liga title. “I feel privileged and proud to overtake Ronaldo for what he did for Barca and in world football, it’s a privilege to overtake a football great like him,” Suarez said on Thursday.
Suarez also provided three assists in the demolition of Deportivo, becoming the first player in the history of La Liga to be directly involved in seven goals in a game. Ronaldo scored 48 goals in his one season at Barcelona in 1996-97, as the second top scorer in a season for the club but he is a long way from eclipsing the record set by team mate Lionel Messi, who netted 73 times in 2011-12 season.
The Uruguayan said it was important to get back to winning ways against Deportivo after Barca suffered three consecutive league defeats for the first time since 2003, allowing Atletico Madrid to draw level on points with them and Real Madrid to move one behind.
“We were really keen to win as we had gone many games without winning, we are human and it hurts when you lose, but we got the win and we were superior so we feel more relaxed now,” added Suarez who also defended fellow Barca striker Neymar whose recent form has been criticised.
“We are humans, not machines, we can have ups and down and it hurts that everyone has blamed him. When we won everything last year no one said it was just because of Neymar and it’s not all his fault now,” Suarez said.
Earlier on Thursday, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu unveiled plans for the redevelopment of the club’s Nou Camp stadium. The project, designed by a Japanese firm, will increase the ground’s capacity from 99,000 to 105,000 spectators and install a roof.
Redevelopment is set to begin in 2017 and finish in 2021, with the bulk of the work taking place in the off season to avoiding affecting Barcelona’s home games. “A club like ours needs the best stadium, we all win with the new Nou Camp,” Bartomeu said.