Uruguay boss Oscar Tabarez insists that Luis Suarez’s controversial Premier League career has made him one of the world’s best players.
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Liverpool striker Suarez has been involved in numerous incidents during his time in the English top-flight. In 2011, he was handed an eight-game ban after being found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra.
In April 2013, Suarez was given another suspension -- this time for ten matches -- after he bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a 2-2 draw at Anfield before the 27-year-old attempted to engineer a move away from Liverpool last summer.
However, Tabarez believes that the incidents have only made Suarez a better player -- and he indicated the striker will show it in England’s 2014 World Cup group game against Uruguay on June 19.
“Suarez has always been a major part of Uruguay since he started in the under-20s,” Tabarez said in the Mirror.
“He made the breakthrough in 2007 into the senior squad. He’s developed and evolved a lot obviously in the time since -- especially in his attitude and his competitive spirit as well as his skills.
“I put that down to what’s happened to him in England. Maybe it’s partly, or mainly down to all the problems he has had. He’s come through difficult times. He’s kept going when it was difficult. He has a strong head.
“He will be ready for England and so will Uruguay. We’re looking forward to it, and to our other group games against Italy and Costa Rica.
“For us Suarez is a really important player, of course. I don’t want to tell you any more than that because we don’t put any extra responsibility on him for the team’s success. It is a collective thing.
“The contribution he gives us is very important but we don’t need to ask for anything extra from him or from any of the other important players.
“We’re more focused on making sure we have the right feeling in the team. The World Cup is a team competition and great individual players like Suarez always need a team that can help them.”
On Friday, Suarez stated he was determined to help Liverpool earn a Champions League place for next season.