Liverpool’s Rodgers: I’d understand 100% if Suárez wanted to leave
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says he would understand "100%" if Luis Suárez wanted to quit after his 10-game ban
Brendan Rodgers says he would understand “100%” if Liverpool striker Luis Suárez wanted to quit Anfield in the summer after receiving a 10-game ban for biting Bransilav Ivanovic.
The Uruguay international was issued with the lengthy suspension by the FA on Wednesday after the 26-year-old had apologised to the Chelsea defender and been fined by the Merseyside outfit.
Rodgers, who was left “bitterly disappointed” with the severity of the ban which can be appealed before 1200 BST on Friday, believes Suárez can feel harshly treated by English football’s governing body.
And the 40-year-old wouldn’t blame the South American for weighing up his future at Liverpool and in the Premier League amid reported interest from Bayern Munich and Juventus.
“Yes, I do understand, 100%,” Rodgers said. “This is a guy who I see on a daily basis trying very hard. His two passions in life are his family and Liverpool Football Club. He throws his life into that.
“It is part of his make-up – you can’t change that – but I genuinely think he is trying to adapt those traits he has grown up with as a kid to life and the culture here.
“Each time he makes a step forward we find ways to beat him with a stick and beat him down. I can understand if he felt like that [wanting to quit England] in a moment of reflection.”
Suárez has enjoyed his most productive season in English football since completing a £22.75m move to Liverpool in January 2011, scoring 23 Premier League goals this term.
But the Uruguayan’s goal-scoring exploits and impressive performances are now set to be overshadowed by his bite in the 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Sunday – and subsequent ban.
“He loves this country and being here. If I’m Luis Suárez sitting at home with my wife and family, who absolutely love it here – they love life in Liverpool and learning the language – it’s arguable I will ever have a better season than he has had this.
“Yet he has still come under this scrutiny and criticism.”
Luis Suárez’s past controversies
February 2007: Sent off on his international debut for Uruguay against Colombia after being shown a second yellow card for dissent.
November 2007: Joins Ajax from Uruguayan side Nacional but is later suspended after a half-time dressing-room altercation with team-mate Albert Luque.
July 2010: Prevents Ghana’s Dominic Adiyiah from scoring in the final minute with a deliberate handball on the line and is subsequently sent off in 2010 World Cup quarter-finals. Uruguay go on to win on penalties.
November 2010: Receives a seven-game ban by the Dutch FA and fined by his club for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal during an Eredivisie match.
December 2011: Banned for eight games and fined £40,000 after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra during a Premier League match.
February 2012: Refuses to shake Evra’s hand before kick-off in match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford.