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Suarez plays down Ballon d'Or chances

Barcelona star Luis Suarez is pleased to be among the candidates to win the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or following his fine performances this calendar year, but is adamant he is not thinking about becoming one of the three finalists.

The Uruguay international was named on a 23-man shortlist last month and could yet be among the final three contenders due to be revealed on November 30, although he faces stiff competition from the likes of holder Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as club team-mates Lionel Messi and Neymar.

Despite enjoying a stellar first campaign at Camp Nou, as well as a strong start to this season, Suarez is not getting carried away and is focused on his performances on the pitch.

"I never imagined being among the 23 finalists, but I am not thinking about being one of the three finalists. It has never been my objective," the attacker said at a news conference.

"I was very surprised when I was named one of three nominees for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award [won by Lionel Messi].

"But winning the Ballon d'Or is not something that is occupying me."

Suarez feels Argentina star Messi remains the best player in the world and hailed his relationship with his fellow Barca attackers.

"Messi is on another level because of everything he has achieved and is still doing," the 28-year-old said.

"Neymar is right behind him at the moment. I really enjoy playing alongside him.

"Time will tell whether we are one of the best attacks in the history of the game, but it is clear that we are getting along well.

"I am very happy when Neymar scores a hat-trick and he is happy when I score. But we could not do it without the support of the midfield and the rest of the team."

Barca are away to fierce rivals Real Madrid in La Liga on Saturday.