BARCELONA Celtic coach Brendan Rodgers hailed his former Liverpool charge Luis Suarez as "the greatest striker in the world" on the eve of Tuesday's Champions League Group C tie in Barcelona.
Rodgers worked with the Uruguay marksman at Anfield between 2012-14.
Suarez was top scorer in the Premier League and claimed the Professional Footballers' Association and Football Writers' Player of the Year awards in his final season at Liverpool.
The forward then won the treble in his first campaign at Barca and the league and cup double last season, hitting 40 goals in La Liga.
"At this moment in time Luis is the best striker in the world, there is no doubt about that," Rodgers told a news conference on Monday.
"The biggest compliment you can give him is he made the best team in the world even better. Barcelona would not be the team they are today without him.
"When you speak about Suarez you also have to speak about the man, he is one of the most beautiful men you can come across, a humble guy who works tirelessly in his profession and for his family," added Rodgers.
"To stop him is very difficult. Like all world class players they always find the space so the best you can do is to deny him the space by being aggressive."
The teams go into Tuesday's game in contrasting states of mind, with Barcelona having lost unexpectedly to La Liga newcomers Alaves on Saturday while Celtic thrashed arch rivals Rangers 5-1.
Rodgers, however, was under no illusions about the scale of the task facing his side.
"This is arguably the best team in the world with maybe the best front three of all time," said Rodgers, in reference to Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar.
"I know from working with Luis he used to occupy a defence on his own so if you put Neymar and Messi into that it is a very difficult task.
"But these are the types of games you want to be involved in and we have to come up with a plan," said Rodgers.
(Editing by Tony Jimenez)