Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has emerged from past controversies to become a “model of brilliance”, according to Brendan Rodgers.
The Uruguayan has been embroiled in two high-profile disciplinary matters since moving to Anfield, earning lengthy bans for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra, and then for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.
But this season, after returning from his most recent long-term suspension, Suarez has been in irresistible form, scoring 28 goals in just 25 Premier League appearances.
However, it is not just Suarez’s sharpness in front of goal that has impressed manager Rodgers, who believes that the 27-year-old has demonstrated all-round quality.
“I think it’s been nice for people to see the other side of Luis this season,” Rodgers said. “People don’t see he’s a real quiet, humble guy off the field who becomes a gladiator when he crosses the white line.
“This year, he has been a model of brilliance. On the pitch it’s never been questioned and if anything he has improved on that level.
“He’s up for every game. He’s a real strong pillar of our team. He’s really dominant, that’s why I had no hesitancy at the time making him skipper.”
Suarez has been the driving force in Liverpool’s climb up the Premier League table, and with eight games to go they sit third and in contention for a first top-flight title since 1990.