Liverpool forward Luis Suarez says Steven Gerrard helped convince him to stay at Anfield this season.
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Suarez had been eager to leave Liverpool during the summer but, despite strong interest from Arsenal, he remained at Anfield.
Liverpool captain Gerrard stressed several times in the summer that he was eager for Suarez to stay put, and the striker told the media in Uruguay: “I do not know if he prayed but what he said is what he feels because he was talking to me all the time.
“Gerrard, for me, is a legend in Liverpool and a great team-mate that helped me a lot. His attitude was an extra boost for me to take the decision to stay in Liverpool -- both he and the fans of Liverpool influenced much for that.
“I admire him for the great player he is worldwide. For me he will always be a benchmark and at club level he is the best player I have played with in my career, as a person and as a footballer.”
Since returning from the ten-match suspension handed down after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in April, the striker has scored three goals in two league games to help the Reds to move level with Arsenal at the top of the Premier League.
The bite was one of a number of controversial incidents during his career, but he believes he is now more relaxed on the field.
“I am aware that in recent matches that I played I've been calmer,” he said. “I am very self-critical and I realised that playing well, with more tranquility, is helping me a lot. I realise and I prefer to continue and not be the same as before.”
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.