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Suarez blasts back at Torres over 'top club' slur

Luis Suarez has rejected Fernando Torres' insinuation that Liverpool no longer belong to Europe's elite, insisting that the club's gilded history means playing for the Anfield side will always remain an attractive proposition for top stars.

In his first interview since completing his £50m transfer to Chelsea on Monday night, the Spaniard suggested he had to bring an end to his three and a half years on Merseyside in order to play for one of the world's "top clubs".

That sentiment rubbed salt into the wounds of Liverpool fans still mourning Torres' defection, but Suarez believes his predecessor's assessment is wrong.

"Liverpool are always known as one of the greats on a European scale," he said. "You only have to look at the trophies they have won.

"It has always been a dream to come to a big club in England to play, and I have come to a massive club at Liverpool."

The former Ajax striker, who made his debut for Liverpool in Wednesday night's 2-0 win against Stoke, despite not having trained with his new team-mates, could not have imagined such a perfect introduction, scoring after just 16 minutes on the Anfield pitch, the same amount of time Torres required to open his account.

"It was a dream debut," said the £22.8m signing. "Anybody would say that. To be on the field for a few minutes and then to score in front of the Kop is a dream start."

Suarez will have to wait "a few weeks" before he can begin to forge a partnership with Andy Carroll, with the £35m former Newcastle striker still unsure as to the nature of the thigh strain that is likely to rule him out for much of February.

Both, though, are clearly excited at the prospect of teaming up.

"I am aware of Andy's style," Suarez said. "I have seen quite a bit of him playing for Newcastle. He is a typical No 9 and the type my kind of player fits well with traditionally." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent