Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Luque stands up for 'good guy' Suarez

Luis Suarez, pictured, has received support from former team-mate Albert Luque

Luis Suarez has found an unlikely ally in former team-mate Albert Luque in the row over his biting of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

The Liverpool striker has been charged with violent conduct by the Football Association over the shocking incident in Sunday's Barclays Premier League match. Luque played with Suarez at Ajax and the pair were involved in an on-field confrontation in a match against Feyenoord.

A dispute between the pair over taking a free-kick led to them coming to blows in the dressing room at half-time and they had to be separated by team-mates. They were both substituted at the break and hit with heavy fines by Ajax. But Luque told Press Association Sport: "We were good friends before and after this incident and it was the only time I ever had a problem with him."

He added: "After that game he admitted he was wrong and said sorry because that's the type of guy he is. He is a good guy, and we all make mistakes.

"He was quiet in the dressing room and kept to himself, but when he gets onto the pitch he is transformed. "He fights for everything, he's very physical, and what happened with Ivanovic was unfortunate, but I'm sure he didn't do it with any bad intentions or in bad faith."

Luque, a former Spain international who spent two years at Newcastle, claimed the incident was being blown out of proportion, even though Suarez was banned for seven matches while at Ajax for biting PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal.

"In the Premier League everything is exaggerated a lot and perhaps this is getting more coverage because it's not the first time something like this has happened to Luis," he added.

"There's no need to give more importance to it. He has said sorry and that's for the better. It is just an anecdote."

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