Ferdinand: Liverpool players must treat Suarez as the enemy

Rio Ferdinand tells England's Liverpool players to forget about their friendship with Luis Suárez ahead of Uruguay clash

luis suarez
Liverpool striker Luis Suárez scored 31 Premier League goals last season Photo: Handout

England’s Liverpool players must put their friendship with Luis Suarez aside ahead of their crunch World Cup clash against Uruguay, according to Rio Ferdinand.

The five Reds representatives in Roy Hodgson’s squad could come up against the forward in Thursday’s Group D clash after both sides lost their opening games in Brazil.

Suarez missed Saturday’s 3-1 defeat by Costa Rica as he continues to recover from knee surgery but the 27-year-old could make a return against the Three Lions next week.

You need a clinical emotional detachment at times like this, no hint of club camaraderie

Rio Ferdinand

And former England defender Ferdinand has urged Liverpool’s players to forget about their relationship with the forward ahead of the game and treat him like the “enemy”.

“England are capable of winning but there will be some major psychology at play because of Suarez and his closeness to his Liverpool team-mates,” Ferdinand wrote in his column for the Mail on Sunday.

“On the one hand, there’s comfort in it because you know everything about them – their capabilities, moods and motivation. But there’s also a negative that falls somewhere between respect and fear, because they know you so well too, what you can do, and especially your weaknesses.

“So assuming Suarez is up against Gerrard and Henderson in England’s two-man defensive cover shield, he will already be armed with all the knowledge of how to take advantage.

“I’m certain there will have been no contact between England’s Liverpool players and Suarez in Brazil.

“You need a clinical emotional detachment at times like this, no hint of club camaraderie. On the pitch you are enemies with just one focus: winning.”

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