Luis Suarez insists he is not a diver and a cheat, despite the poor reputation the Uruguayan has picked up during his time in the Premier League.
The Liverpool striker has often been at the forefront of controversial incidents since joining the club from Ajax in 2011 as a replacement for the Chelsea-bound Fernando Torres, who comes up against his former club at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Despite ringing endorsements about his quality on the pitch from his captain Steven Gerrard and manager Brendan Rodgers, Suarez remains a divisive figure among fans – something he feels is unwarranted.
“I insist I don’t dive in the penalty area,” the 25-year-old said.
“This is my career and the bad reputation created around me is unjust.
“There always seems to be controversy surrounding me but I accept the referee’s decisions – they are only human.
“I accept the criticism against me but many people attack me without reason. That doesn’t please me but I try to do my best day by day.
“If you analyse the statistics I am one of the forwards who receives the most fouls and free kicks.”
If some question Suarez’s morality on the pitch, there can be no doubting his quality, with the Uruguayan enjoying a prolific season in front of goal, netting seven times for the struggling Reds so far this campaign.
It is form which has led to support from his manager and team-mates, with his club captain Gerrard comparing Suarez to Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
“He plays the false nine role like Messi does for Barcelona where he moves freely and others have to get in behind him to penetrate,” Gerrard said.
“He is a world-class striker.”
And despite the obvious comparisons with former Anfield star Torres, Suarez insists that he and the Spaniard are completely different players.
“Torres is highly regarded by Liverpool fans but I prefer not to draw comparisons between us because we are a different type of forward,” he said.
“I am not envious of anything he did for Liverpool. Maybe we are similar in the way we battle against defenders and our passion is the same, but technically we are different.”
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