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Rodgers: Suarez has made me better

ESPN staff
May 16, 2014 « Van Gaal: I'll make history at United | Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Suarez: I want to stay at Liverpool

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says he has "become a better manager and a better person because of Luis Suarez".

Suarez was a convincing winner of the Professional Footballers' Association and Football Writers' Association (FWA) player of the year awards.

Many FWA members who voted for Suarez this season were among his more outspoken critics this time last year, as he received a 10-game ban for his infamous bite on the arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic. However, Rodgers says Suarez has influenced him for the better.

Europe not the Premier League the priority, says Suarez

  • Luis Suarez says the Champions League should take priority over the Premier League for Liverpool next season.
  • Manager Brendan Rodgers claims the club's attacking mentality has made both Britain and Europe's elite "sit up and take notice" and Suarez believes they should focus on recapturing the club's former European glories.
  • Click here to read the full article

"I know for however long I am at Liverpool, whenever I leave I will have become a better manager and a better person because of Luis Suarez and for that I thank him so much," Rodgers said at the FWA dinner in London.

"For a young manager like myself coming into a club like Liverpool, I understand the pressures of the club and those pressures include everything that involves managing top players.

"For me, he has challenged me every day of my life, he's done everything that you would need to do at the top level of the game as a player.

"When I came into Liverpool as manager, Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard said to me this was the best player that they had played with.

"I thought about those two and all the great players they've played with in their career, so I was really interested to see what his play was like close up.

"He is a winner, his determination is unique, he is absolutely relentless. He is someone that trains every single day of his life. He doesn't look for an excuse.

"What people don't see is that he is a very intelligent man. He is a winner when he crosses the line, but with great intelligence.

Suarez scored 31 league goals which aided Liverpool's surprise title charge this season. His form has attracted the eyes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, but the 27-year-old is committed to stay at Anfield.

This is partly to do with his team-mates admiration for him, as well as Liverpool's return to the Champions League. Rodgers played a big part in convincing him to stay at the club despite his troubles last season, but believes his rehabilitation is complete.

"Everybody knows the struggles he had in the last year," Rodgers said. "It has been incredibly difficult for him, but rehabilitation is always respected in the country. People who want to change for the better and he is certainly someone that was at a real low point at the end of the last season.

"I know that better than anyone. It was a real, real difficult period for him but he went away and, after a difficult summer, the power of Liverpool and the club that it is convinced him to stay.

"Once we got the season under way, he concentrated on his football and we've had a number of outstanding players this season, but Luis Suarez has been incredible."

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