• Premier League

Suarez: Gerrard convinced me to stay

ESPN staff
February 27, 2014 « Mourinho goes soft on his strikers | Chartbeat test »
Steven Gerrard (centre) spent hours with Luis Suarez (right), saying the striker was the best he had played with © Getty Images
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Luis Suarez has underlined how important it was for Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard to spend hours convincing him to stay at Anfield - and claimed becoming acting captain "validated" him.

The striker had spoken publicly last summer of his desire to play Champions League football and attracted interest from Arsenal and Real Madrid.

However, Liverpool refused to consider any offers for the Uruguay international and have been richly rewarded for their decision, with the striker contributing 23 goals and nine assists in 22 league appearances this season after completing his 10-match suspension.

"He [Gerrard] didn't talk about me, or through me, in the press, but in person," the striker told FourFourTwo .

"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, 27, signed a new contract in December and claims deputising for Gerrard as Liverpool captain in the 5-0 victory over Tottenham in the Premier League that month convinced him he had made the right decisions about his future.

"It was weird - strange," he 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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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