Suarez gets Gerrard's vote

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has revealed he has cast his vote for team-mate Luis Suarez to win the 2013 Ballon d'Or.

Last Updated: 10/11/13 at 13:27 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  Premier League. Click here to bet.

Luis Suarez: Praised by his captain Steven Gerrard

Luis Suarez: Praised by his captain Steven Gerrard

The Uruguay striker scored twice in the 4-0 win over Fulham to take his tally to eight in just six league matches he has played this season.

Nominations for the world player of the year apply to the calendar year so his tally for the Reds is 18 in 20 league games.

But the 26-year-old will not win the trophy as part of the criteria refers to "overall behaviour on and off the pitch" so Suarez's 10-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic counts against him.

That has not stopped Gerrard picking Suarez for one of the three votes all national team captains are given.

"I voted for him in my top three," said the midfielder.

"I asked if the rules can be that you can vote for one of your own players and they gave me the green light so he got one of my votes.

"I think everyone knows how much I rate him, I think we are very lucky to have him and we have to enjoy him while he's here.

"For me he is one of the top four or five players in the world for sure."

Suarez's form this season is likely to be decisive in whether Liverpool qualify for the Champions League, which in turn is likely to be the deciding factor in whether he remains at the club or not.

He was very close to scoring back-to-back Anfield hat-tricks as it was his header from Gerrard's free-kick which came off Fernando Amorebieta for the opening own goal.

Gerrard's pin-point delivery saw Martin Skrtel head in a second from a corner before Jordan Henderson's brilliant through-ball, from the captain's initial pass, saw Suarez bag his first.

All three goals came in a 14-minute spell from the 23rd minute and while the game was effectively over at half-time Suarez left no room for debate by beating the excellent Maarten Stekelenburg at his near-post from Gerrard's assist.

The win lifted Liverpool back into second place and lifted spirits after a disappointing defeat at leaders Arsenal last week.

"It was the perfect response," Gerrard told LFC TV.

"Earlier on in the week we were disappointed with our performances individually and collectively but the only way you can put that right is to bounce back.

"At home the onus is on us to take the game to the opposition. Every time we struggle at Anfield it is when we are slow out of the blocks and don't press aggressively."

Manager Brendan Rodgers was pleased with his side's response, particularly with the way they came out in the second half having been so far ahead, having 68 per cent possession and 32 goal attempts.

"They had good players and if you are not aggressive enough in certain areas they can get goals," he said.

"It was about our hunger and continuing to turn the screw and we did that very well.

"I thought some of our combination play was outstanding, we looked a really good side.

"When I first came in here there was a real vulnerability, nervousness, around the group ahead of these games for some reason.

"But now the mentality is good, the focus is good and we are becoming relentless in these types of games and that is what Liverpool is about."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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