Former Liverpool winger Sergi Canos, who at one stage was threatening to break into the first-team, has explained the commitment Luis Suarez had to the cause.
Canos was with us between 2013 and 2016, so trained with Suarez during the Uruguayan’s insane 2013/14 season in which for us, he was the best player on the planet bar Lionel Messi.
The Spaniard was only a youngster at the time, but has recalled the intensity with which Suarez trained and how he was happy to play and even train through pain.
“He was fantastic,” Canos told Goal.
“It was the first time I thought okay, this is Luis Suarez who is scoring goals every weekend, earning who knows how much, and he’s training like this on a Monday?!
“I remember the very beginning of one training session. I was very good friends with Jose Enrique, and all the Spanish guys used to have breakfast together. Luis had something going on with the nail on his foot. I don’t know what happened, but he was limping.
“And Jose Enrique was like: ‘Well it’s Monday, don’t train’. Luis was like: ‘Maybe, maybe, I’ll ask the physio’.
“And he went out and trained, limping, on Monday! They’d just played on the Saturday! I went home and I was amazed. I was like: ‘This guy loves football!’
He just said: ‘I can’t stay inside, I just want to go outside and train with you guys!’ We were like: ‘Yes, but what’s the point?!’
“Now I understand that there is a point. Now, I’m like this. That’s why the standard has to be up here.”
Suarez was a machine at Liverpool – and never missed a single game injured for us. Instead, he saved his absences for the various suspensions he picked up for his shocking on-field behaviour…
Last summer, Suarez was available for basically nothing, and Atletico Madrid are favourites for La Liga thanks to his 16 goals after signing him from Barcelona.
We have the benefit of hindsight, but perhaps Suarez to provide support for Roberto Firmino would have mightily helped us – although at 34 – it did look like his legs were gone.