THEY are the ballers who became bezzies.
Lionel Messi was once the strike partner of best bud Luis Suarez, but they are now going head to head in the LaLiga title race.
But the two South Americans aren't the only group of best buds in elite football.
SunSport rounds up football's biggest mates.
Messi & Suarez
Last summer, the Uruguayan said his emotional goodbye to his team-mates and cleared out his locker in the dressing room after six seasons at the Camp Nou.
He was joined by an emotional Leo Messi, who slammed the club's treatment of his pal in the past, to wish Suarez all the best at rivals Atletico Madrid.
Messi even took time to share a snap of the pair together one final time in the dressing room, and you can bet there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
He captioned the photo: “I was already getting the idea but today I entered the locker room and the card really fell.
"How difficult it is going to be not to continue sharing the day to day with you, both on the pitch and outside. We will miss you so much. It was many years, many mates, lunches, dinners … Many things that will never be forgotten, every day together.
“It will be strange to see you with another shirt and much more to face you. You deserved to be fired as what you are: one of the most important players in the club's history, achieving important things both as a group and individually.
"And not to get kicked out like they did. But the truth is that at this point nothing surprises me.
“I wish you all the best in this new challenge. I love you very much, I love you very much. See you soon friend.”
Lingard & Rashford
FROM quirky handshakes to holiday snaps, the two England stars regularly give the world an insight into their bond through social media.
Jesse Lingard once said he saw Marcus Rashford, five years his junior, as a little brother in the United squad.
He has nicknamed him 'beansprouts' and says their friendship stemmed from defending him during a feisty Manchester derby in 2016.
"He got into a little bit of beef and I had to be there for him, and from then it's carried on and I'll always be there for him no matter what," Lingard said.
Lovren & Salah
FOR Dejan Lovren and Mohamed Salah, there was an instant connection.
When Salah arrived at Liverpool in 2017, the two men discussed their tough upbringings and, from there, they were virtually inseparable.
Lovren revealed: "From day one, we felt this connection.
"We have been talking a lot, we were talking about private things and we have a similar background, a tough life from the beginning.
"And then with his normality, how he can talk to you and when you see how he thinks… we are good friends, coffee, jokes!"
Lovren has since moved on to Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Alli & Dier
WHEN Dele Alli signed for Tottenham from Milton Keynes Dons in 2015, he quickly bonded with his fellow newbie.
Eric Dier had signed from Portuguese side Sporting CP and the two quickly formed a friendship that culminated in appearing alongside each other on the Gogglebox sofa.
The Channel 4 programme gave fans an insight into their friendship as the pair bickered over a cuppa tea on telly.
But they're not afraid to talk about their bond either, with Dele once saying: "Love's a strong word but we do really like each other."
Pogba & Lukaku
IF it wasn't for Agent Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku wouldn't have ended up at Man United.
In the summer of 2017, when the Belgian was choosing between a transfer to Chelsea and United, he was holidaying with Pogba in an LA mansion.
There was little doubt where he would end up.
After that, the two superstars were virtually inseparable, hanging out, playing basketball and sharing private jets.
So much so that both players looked for a move out of Manchester last summer, with Lukaku ending up at Inter Milan but Pogba remaining.
Aubameyang & Lacazette
THEY were always Gunner be mates.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signed for Arsenal in January 2018 and immediately struck up a friendship with fellow striker Alexandre Lacazette.
Aubameyang remembers: "I came to Arsenal and there he was. It was good to see him. It was love at first sight!"
Their bond off the pitch has helped them on it, with the duo helping the club win the FA Cup last season.
Mount & Rice
IT was in Chelsea's academy, at the age of seven, that Mason Mount and Declan Rice began their friendship.
Both families holidayed together and travelled Europe, watching the boys play for the Blues, and their bond endured Chelsea's decision to release Rice at the age of 14 – which made Mount's mum cry.
Now the two midfielders have been able to team up again while playing for their country after being selected by Gareth Southgate.
And Mount provided the most hilarious video when he surprised a sleeping Rice while they were on holiday together.
Kolasinac & Ozil
IF any star has proved their bezzie loyalty it's Sead Kolasinac to Mesut Ozil.
In the face of knife-wielding moped thugs, Kolasinac leapt from Ozil's car and defended his pal with whom he has formed a strong bond.
German Ozil vowed to take Kolasinac under his wing when he arrived at Arsenal in 2017, and since then the two men — and their wives — have become best friends.
Last summer, both couples got married and attended each other's wedding while the two men dyed their hair blonde after losing a bet.
Fabregas & Suarez & Messi
IT is the friendship group football fans would dream to be a part of.
Messi, Suarez and Cesc Fabregas, who all met at Barcelona, have formed a small clique of some of the world's greatest footballing talent.
With their respective partners — Antonella Roccuzzo, Sofia Balbi and Daniella Semaan — all friends as well, the group regularly holiday together in giant luxury villas and yachts.
There was even a suggestion in 2017 that the group racked up a £32,630 bill during a dinner on the Spanish island of Ibiza.
Firmino & Coutinho
THEIR time together at Anfield was relatively short but extremely sweet.
Fellow Brazilians Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho formed a formidable partnership in Jurgen Klopp's fierce attack.
So it came as a blow to Firmino when Coutinho made the £142million switch to Barcelona in January 2018.
Firmino said: “He made his decision to join Barcelona, but every time we play for the Seleção we have a chat and maintain that friendship.
"He's an exceptional guy – one of the best friends football has given me.”
Nolan & Carroll
WHEN Andy Carroll was bailed for an assault charge in 2010, he turned to his best mate Kevin Nolan.
Having become close friends at Newcastle, Nolan allowed his pal to live with his family on two conditions — reading Peppa Pig to his kids and being in bed by 11pm!
But it still came as some surprise when the former Liverpool striker named Nolan in his dream 5-a-side team alongside superstars such as Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez.
Nolan responded by saying: "Well, me and Andy are mates so he's looking after his mucker!"
And when bromances go bad…
Owen and Shearer
A lethal strike partnership, the darlings of England's first-team, whose relationship spiralled from good mates to a public spat.
Michael Owen's autobiography Reboot: My Life lifted the lid on a bitter feud that began during his time at Newcastle.
The two English heavyweights went toe-to-toe on Twitter after Owen's book claimed Alan Shearer had questioned his professionalism at St. James' Park.
Shearer took aim at Owen by highlighting his hefty wages at Newcastle before Owen shot back by questioning Shearer's loyalty to Newcastle.
Let's hope the other bezzies in this list aren't slinging mud at each other in ten years' time.
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