LIONEL MESSI is more focused on his family than his football, pal Luis Suarez has explained.
Barcelona's tough start to the season improved with a brace from the Argentine in last weekend's win over Real Betis.
The striker's future at the club remains in huge doubt following his transfer saga over the summer, with the threat of a legal battle keeping him in Catalonia.
Having left for Atletico Madrid, Suarez believes Messi is not worried by his situation at Barcelona as the pair prefer to discuss family life.
The 33-year-old told Marca: "We speak a lot but honestly when we speak it's about our lives.
"We've both had children's birthdays recently, we talk about life, the virus and everything else but very little about football.
"We're more concerned with how our families are than what happens in football."
Messi's and Suarez's families are well acquainted and often join the former strike partners on holiday or out for dinner.
A six-year spell in the same team saw the pair become great friends although they will face off in a crunch LaLiga clash later this month.
Saturday's showdown in Madrid will give Suarez the chance to get one over his former employers.
Barcelona told the Uruguayan he had no future at the Camp Nou before a drawn-out move to Atleti was finally given the green light.
He continued: "I was sad and hurt by the way I left, which I have already said.
"I feel proud. When I wasn't wanted, I found somewhere I was. I've found happiness and I'm enjoying this period."
Barcelona sit eighth going into the clash and, at times, have found goals hard to come by in LaLiga.
Alaves held Ronald Koeman's side to a draw last month in a four-game winless run that included defeats to Real Madrid and Getafe.
Former Italy striker Antonio Cassano recently joined the calls criticising the club for selling Suarez.
He told an Instagram Live video: "For me it was crazy to let him leave Barcelona.
"He scored 350 goals in six years, I don't know why they kicked him out. And now they have to play [Antoine] Griezmann at centre-forward!"
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