Rodgers thanks Suarez

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has thanked Luis Suarez for making him a better manager.

Last Updated: 16/05/14 at 08:20 Post Comment

Brendan Rodgers: Full of praise for Luis Suarez

Brendan Rodgers: Full of praise for Luis Suarez

Brendan Rodgers thanked Luis Suarez for making him a better manager as he collected the Football Writers' Association's Player of the Year award on behalf of the Liverpool striker.

After an exceptional season, the 27-year-old topped the poll of 300-plus journalists ahead of team-mate Steven Gerrard.

Suarez netted 31 goals in a remarkable campaign that not only saw Liverpool come agonisingly close to a first league title in 24 years but saw the striker put the negative headlines of the past behind him.

The Uruguayan received just two votes in last year's FWA poll and has come full circle since serving a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

Suarez, who was also named the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year, was unable to pick up the award on Thursday due to a pre-World Cup break, so Liverpool boss Rodgers instead accepted the award.

"On behalf of Luis and all of Liverpool Football Club's staff, we want to say a big thank you to the Football Writers' Association," he said at the London Lancaster Hotel.

"I think everybody knows the struggles he had in the last year. 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."

Rodgers used the speech to thank former manager Kenny Dalglish for signing Suarez, Liverpool's communication team and managing director Ian Ayre.

First and foremost in the Reds boss' praise, though, was Suarez, whose performances this season saw them come so close to the title.

"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," Rodgers added.

"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.

"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.

"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.

"And 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.

"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.

"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."

Suarez was also praised on stage by Football Association chairman Greg Dyke and FWA chairman Andy Dunn of the Sunday Mirror.

"There are some members that remind quite frequently that in the citation for this award that it mentions he is Footballer of the Year by 'precept and by example'," the latter said.

"Now that part of the citation is important, but I do think what better example is there of someone who maybe realised that they did have issues to address on the field of play and has addressed those issues?

"I think Luis Suarez has done that and I think that is why he fulfils that criteria.

"And, of course, there is that bit that says 'Footballer of the Year' and what a footballer he is, what a footballer we've had the privilege to watch, particularly this season."


New Sky Bet customers: Free matched bet up to £30


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

suspect the review will conclude that Iago Aspas should never have been loaned out. Two hat-tricks in two Copa Del Rey games. One might say he has really turned a corner.

GVMUFC
'Liverpool in transfer review'

P

oise, power and (I noticed in his post match interview) freakishly large hands. You know what they say about men with big hands.......... big gloves.

disGUSting
Poise And Power: Barkley's Unique Blend

S

itting next to him in the studio will surely be the closest Jamie Carragher ever got to Thierry...

bungle1976
Henry retires and joins Sky

Footer 365

Capital One Cup: Tottenham thump Newcastle 4-0 to reach the semi-finals

Tottenham thrashed Newcastle United 4-0 at White Hart Lane to reach the Capital One Cup semi-finals.

Premier League: Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge to be treated by Boston Red Sox staff

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge is set to spend Christmas in Boston as he continues to receive treatment on a thigh injury.

League Two: Hartlepool's new manager Ronnie Moore ready for 'biggest job'

Hartlepool's new manager Ronnie Moore says he is taking on "the biggest job in English football".

Mail Box

Pulis To Liverpool Might Just Work

One Mailboxer believes that Tony Pulis managing Liverpool isn't as silly as you might think. Plus Bournemouth aren't that romantic and we're all guilty of ignoring Everton...

It's Not As Simple As Losing Luis Suarez...

That's the view of Liverpool fans in the mailbox as the Reds continue to struggle without their talisman. Suarez isn't doing particularly well at Barca either, it should be said...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property