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Feb 1, 2013

Suarez: Reds future not dependent on UCL

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has insisted his Anfield future is not tied to Champions League qualification.

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Suarez is one of the world's premier forwards, but he has not tested himself in the Champions League since arriving at Liverpool, who missed out on Champions League qualification in each of his first two seasons.

The Uruguay star has flourished at Anfield, and has one piece of silverware to his name courtesy of the League Cup, but yearns to play at the highest level.

Despite his desire to play Champions League football, however, Suarez has no plans to turn his back on Liverpool if their recent improvement under Brendan Rodgers does not yield a top-four finish.

"I will wait until the end of the season and see how we are doing," Suarez told the Daily Mail. "We won't know until then how we are doing and what our position is so I am prepared to wait until that time. But I want to say now that, if you want to know what will happen to me if we don't qualify for the Champions League, then I will say this: I have a contract with Liverpool and I am very happy here. I will stay."

Suarez is the focal point of the Liverpool attack, but Steven Gerrard is still the leader of the pack and the Uruguayan has huge respect for the England captain - claiming it is 'crazy' he has never won the Premier League.

"Gerrard is such a good player and what he said about me I will never forget, it's unbelievable," Suarez said. "He has such a good record over many years in the English game and is a great example to all the players here, especially to me.

"We all respect him. He has won almost everything and if anything goes wrong on the pitch he never tells the players off. He just speaks to them afterwards and when he speaks to them you can take it as a fact that he is right. He is just trying to help people.

"It's incredible that Steven hasn't won a championship. Crazy. It must be like having a fishbone stuck in his throat. It is permanently irritating to him. I can't really believe it. You still have to recognise he is an outstanding player.

"He is a legend in the club and has lifted the Champions League for this club. That makes him special. After all, how many players in Europe have actually done that?"

Suarez pledged his future to Liverpool on Thursday, outlining his plans to stay at the club for a "very long time".

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