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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 17 hours ago
Read
Aug 8, 2012

Rodgers: Abuse makes Suarez stronger

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers thinks that fans will soon get bored of booing Luis Suarez as it will only make him a stronger player.

• Suarez signs new Liverpool deal

Suarez, 25, signed a new long-term contract with the Reds on Tuesday but, after a protracted race row with Manchester United defender Patrice Evra last season, was booed at Old Trafford, Wembley and the Millennium Stadium during his recent Olympic appearances for Uruguay.

However, citing the example of David Beckham (after France 1998) as proof of how quickly perceptions in football can change, Rodgers believes it could make the former Ajax man an even better player.

"I didn't hear the reaction (during the Olympics) but top players get a bit of stick at every away ground,'' he said. "But if there is a negative reaction towards a player it is normally because they are good.

"We have seen it over time and players can become stronger for sure. Looking at the David Beckham scenario a number of years ago, they were burning effigies of him. Now he is king of the world.

"That is how it can change. The most important thing is to recognise where you are at and then move forward.''

The Northern Irishman also said he was delighted one of the central components of his future plans has decided to remain where he is.

"I have tried to sell him the vision,'' Rodgers said. "There is always uncertainty when there is a change of manager. But he feels secure this club can take a number of steps forward over the next few years.

"Last year was difficult for him but this is a new beginning. The message from me will be concentrate on your football. Everything else will be a hindrance.''

Suarez will certainly be keen to follow that advice and he spoke about Rodgers when telling Liverpool's official website: "He is a good person. I spoke with him last week and he spoke fantastic to me.

"We know what he wants - he wants us to play with the ball all of the time and it's very important. We try our best in training and we hope to do so in the matches, also. He wants us to play with the ball all of the time. He tells us he wants 70-minute or 90-minute concentration all of the time in training. This is very important.

"I am enjoying training and happy with it. It's important for players to play with the ball all of the time - and with the manager that's what we're trying. I think he is a good manager and I was impressed with the work he did with Swansea last season. We played them twice and they tried to take the ball from us in good positions with lots of pressure.

"I think Brendan will try the same with Liverpool and we will all try to do our best."

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