Rodgers heaps praise on Suarez
Published 29/04/2014 | 10:02
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has hailed Luis Suarez as "magical" after the striker was awarded the Professional Footballers' Association's Player of the Year award on Sunday night.
The Uruguayan has endured a mixed time since arriving in England, with controversies often deflecting from his performances on the field which have seen him score 30 league goals in 31 appearances this season.
That tally comes despite the fact he missed the first five matches of the campaign as his ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic carried over into this term.
Suarez also publicly stated his desire to leave Anfield last summer but that all seems a long time ago as the Reds go into the final two matches of the season still with a chance of claiming the Barclays Premier League title a nd Rodgers is delighted he managed to hold on to his star forward.
"We're one of the biggest clubs in world football,'' he told the Daily Telegraph. "Sometimes you have to demonstrate your power and that's what we did."
He added: "I'm interested in the person as much as the player.
"From the first year, he knew I would shape the team around his qualities. The way we set the system up is to be technical and intelligent.
"Probably what people don't see with Luis is that he's a very, very highly intelligent man off the field - and maybe sometimes in the past that intelligence on the field hasn't been seen so much - but that imagination is part of how we work.
"I love players that have that technical ability. That's what we've built our template on over the past 20 months and he's at the top end of that.
"That's the beauty of him. It's that invention and creativity that we love.
"He's a player from the street and that's something that in this country we've been looking to identify.
"He's just relentless in his work. Every second of the day, in training, he's just non-stop.
"He has been coached but it hasn't been coached out of him. He has been allowed to flourish.
"In and around the box, he's magical.''