Belfast Telegraph

Stevie G's the best player I've played with says Suarez

By Tim Martin

Uruguay's Luis Suarez has admitted to feeling sympathy for Steven Gerrard after his close friend and Liverpool team-mate inadvertently helped the striker score the winning goal in Thursday’s crunch World Cup match in Sao Paulo.

Gerrard’s back header was capitalised on by Suarez in the 84th minute before the South American superstar slammed in the decisive strike in Uruguay’s vital 2-1 victory.

The goal all but sent England out of the competition — a fate sealed by Costa Rica beating Italy last night — and kept Uruguay’s hopes of making it to the knockout stages alive.

Suarez and Gerrard embraced after the final whistle but it was clear the England skipper was pained by more World Cup woe.

Suarez, who has once again been linked with big money moves to Barcelona and Real Madrid following his two-goal blast against England, revealed what he said to Gerrard after the game.

“I told him to keep going. He's the best player I've played with on the pitch. This is an unlucky moment for him. I don't like it when he hurts like this. I said ‘Keep going, forget this game, you're one of the best’,” said Suarez.

The Liverpool ace also admitted that Roy Hodgson made him more determined to beat England when he denied the striker was worthy of being called a “world-class” player.

“It wasn't revenge, but in England they talked about the injury and the coach had words that annoyed me,” Suarez said.

Suarez, who had an operation on a knee injury just a month ago, celebrated his first goal by hugging team physio Walter Ferreira, who he credits for helping him make such a rapid recovery.

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