Thursday 26 April 2018

Luis Suarez went to ridiculous lengths to play with a swollen ankle at Liverpool

Luis Suarez scored 82 goals in his three-and-a-half seasons with Liverpool
Luis Suarez scored 82 goals in his three-and-a-half seasons with Liverpool

Mark Molloy

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has revealed the extraordinary lengths his former team-mate Luis Suarez went to play through an injury during his time at Anfield.

The Barcelona forward’s ankle was so swollen he couldn’t get his boot on before a game during his three-and-a-half year spell on Merseyside.

Suarez borrowed a team-mate’s bigger boots so he could play and then scored an ‘unbelievable’ free-kick in his side’s victory, Henderson recalled.

“Knocks and niggles didn’t bother him, he played through them,” Henderson told LFCTV series Premier League Heroes. “[He was] a real warrior. I never saw him in the treatment room.

“I remember one game, his ankle was that swollen he couldn’t get his boot on, so he had to go a size up in someone else’s boots. He played on and scored an unbelievable free-kick.

“Stuff like that you don’t forget. What he does on the pitch speaks for itself. To line up in the tunnel, it’d give you so much confidence as a player knowing that you were going into a game and he was leading at the top. You would react from him and he would set everything off.”

He added: “He could make the difference at any point. You could be backs against the wall and defending for your life, and Luis could come up with a bit of magic and get you a goal – that’s the quality he had.

“I think the biggest thing was just the confidence he gave the whole group. When you line up alongside him and you’re on the pitch, you know no matter what happens in the game he could produce anything for you. That gave us confidence as players.

“I learned a lot from Luis as a player and as a person.”

Raheem Sterling also recalled Suarez’s ‘ridiculously swollen ankle’ in an interview with The Times last year, revealing he borrowed a pair of Steven Gerrard’s boots.

“Anybody else would have said: ‘No, today’s not my day,’” Sterling said. 

“Suarez took the injection. His ankle was like a ball. I thought it’s not normal.

“He had to wear Stevie’s boots, which were probably two sizes too big for him and he went out and bagged a hat-trick. Nobody else would have done that.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool will finish in the top four with a victory over already relegated Middlesbrough at Anfield on Sunday.

Premier League Heroes: Luis Suarez is on LFCTV at 7pm and 10pm tonight.

Telegraph.co.uk

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