Tuesday 24 April 2018

Luis Suarez: Hunger and desire the key to my impressive displays

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and manager Brendan Rodgers have put the summer transfer saga behind them
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and manager Brendan Rodgers have put the summer transfer saga behind them

Jack de Menezes

Luis Suarez feels that his impressive form this season is due to a new confidence he has in his own abilities, having led the line for Liverpool that has seen them make a push for an unlikely title charge.

Suarez has notched 23 goals in all competitions for the Reds this season, and the club sit in fourth just four points off Premier League leaders Chelsea.

His form this season has come after the transfer saga of last summer saw the Uruguayan push for a move to Arsenal, with the Merseyside club firmly revoking the Gunners £40m plus £1 offer.

Having been reintegrated into the first team by manager Brendan Rodgers, Suarez went on to pay back the club with a rich vein of form that has put the Reds firmly in the running for a return to the Champions League, though they are aiming for much more in the run-in to the end of the season.

Speaking to weekly magazine Sport, Suarez admits that there is no secret to his performances of late, but rather a boost in his own confidence and hunger. “It’s not that there’s a secret, as such,” he admitted. “It’s to do with the confidence a player has in himself. His desire. The hunger to score a goal; something I have a lot of.”

Suarez could be on course to equal his incredible 2009-10 goalscoring record while playing for Ajax in the Eredivisie, when he notched 35 goals in just 33 games. The 26-year-old did stress that there is a large difference between the two leagues though and that what he learnt in the Netherlands set him up to become the player that he is today.

Dutch football is obviously at a lower level than English in terms of the quality of players they have there,” he admitted. “The difference in a footballing sense is something you see as a player every weekend.

“I think the best thing I did in my career was spending four and a half years in Holland, because I learned about everything. Being at Ajax helped me to learn about tactics, different ways of playing.

“They showed me how to improve in every way. Technically, I learned how to do things very well.”

Suarez also praised the coaches he has worked with during his career, which includes Holland legend Marco van Basten in the time he was with Ajax. The Uruguay international believes that he has learnt something different from every coach he has worked with, but having the chance to work with a former world-class striker like van Basten really helped him progress as a footballer.

“I’ve learned something from every coach,” reveals Suarez. I alsways learn something different, something new. I learned some things from van Basten, yes, but also Henk ten Cate, Adrie Koster [both Ajax coaches].

“Obviously with van Basten being a great, world-class striker, he told me a few things. I’ve been lucky in my career to have great coaches who have left a big mark on me throughout my progression.”

On his most recent managers Brendan Rodgers and Kenny Dalglish, Suarez says: “Both of them have their style, their way of playing. Brendan likes to talk a lot, to have a dialogue with the players. You see the fruits of that in the results every weekend.

“When I arrived here [Liverpool] everything was new and great for me. Dalglish gave me a lot of confidence. He allowed me the freedom to play in the way I love, how I wanted to, and that was really great for someone who had only just come to England.”

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