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Jul 22, 2014

Rodgers: Liverpool bigger than Suarez

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says the team is moving on after Luis Suarez's departure to Barcelona.

The Uruguay international scored 82 goals in 133 Liverpool appearances, but his three years in England were overshadowed by bans for racial abuse and biting. He was suspended for four months by FIFA for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup.

When asked at a news conference in Boston whether he or Liverpool felt let down by the Uruguay striker after they stood by him over the last two years, Rodgers said: "No, not at all. Luis, in my two years at the club, has been sensational in his game.

"Of course there's been issues which is well documented but it's in the past. He was a brilliant player for us, for me I'll always see him as a good man and a good friend.

Liverpool players train at Boston's historic Fenway Park on Tuesday ahead of the match against Roma.

"He gave everything to Liverpool and he left Liverpool after his time as a world-class talent. It's obviously a shame he is not here but Liverpool is a club that is bigger than any individual.

"He's a fantastic player but we will move forward and there's real excitement going into this season."

Liverpool are back in the Champions League after being absent for four years, and Rodgers says there is hope the Reds can excel.

"We've qualified for the Champions League, we went close in the title. I'm really excited by the player's we've brought in -- young players with great profile who play how we want to play and that will allow us to go on and hopefully continue to progress."

But Rodgers remained tight-lipped when quizzed on a possible move for QPR striker Loic Remy, who on Monday flew to the United States to join Liverpool's training camp and have a medical.

"Until they are signed and agreed to come in I will only talk about them then," Rodgers said. "I shall not talk about speculation on any player until they have signed."

Rodgers also said that Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard's retirement from the national team "brings an end to a great career." But it might be beneficial to Liverpool.

"Liverpool means everything to him," Rodgers said. "And there's certainly no doubt missing out on international football means he will be fresher and at his optimum level as often as possible for us."

Rodgers spoke at Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox, before Liverpool practiced for Wednesday night's friendly against Roma. The 102-year-old baseball stadium was decked out for the game on Tuesday, with the pitch lined up from the third-base line to the right-field stands.

The game between teams from England and Italy will have a local flavor: Liverpool are owned by Red Sox owner John Henry, and Roma are owned by the minority owner of the NBA's Boston Celtics, Jim Pallotta.

Information from The Associated Press and Press Association was used in this report.

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