Steven Gerrard played a decisive role in keeping Luis Suarez at Liverpool, the Uruguay striker has revealed.
Suarez had publically agitated for a move away from Merseyside, with Arsenal and Real Madrid ready to swoop for the former Ajax forward, until Gerrard’s intervention.
“[Gerrard] didn’t talk about me, or through me, in the press, but in person,” Suarez said. “In those moments, I forgot that he was ‘world football great Gerrard’ – a Liverpool legend – but as a humble person who spoke to me with all his heart for hours.
“He said I was the best forward he’d ever played with, which given the amazing strikers that he’s played with at Liverpool, was amazing for me to hear. I’ll never forget that.”
Suarez added that the extra responsibility he has been given at Liverpool – including captaining the side on occasion – has focused his mind.
“It was weird – strange,” Suarez said. “I’d never imagined myself as Liverpool skipper. After everything that had happened with me, to retain the support of the club, the coach and my teammates showed me they were happy to forget and forgive.
“It proved that my commitment to the club and to my teammates is genuine and that I’m giving the maximum. Everyone here lives to help the club. Being Liverpool captain is something that validates you and makes you feel appreciated because there have been some fantastic leaders here.”
Suarez started the season serving part of a 10-game ban he was given for biting Branislav Ivanovic, but has since scored 23 goals in 22 Premier League appearances, helping Liverpool to fourth place in the table.
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