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By ESPN Staff

Luque defends Suarez

Former Newcastle attacker Albert Luque has defended Luis Suarez after the Liverpool striker bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during the 2-2 Premier League draw on Sunday.

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Luque, a former team-mate of Suarez's at Ajax, says the Uruguay international is "a good guy" and that he is the kind of player he would want on his team even though the pair had a run-in of their own, coming to blows over who would take a free-kick, an incident which resulted in both players being fined and substituted.

Luque told Press Association Sport: "We were good friends before and after this incident and it was the only time I ever had a problem with him.

"After that game he admitted he was wrong and said sorry because that's the type of guy he is. He is a good guy, and we all make mistakes. He was quiet in the dressing room and kept to himself, but when he gets onto the pitch he is transformed.

"He fights for everything, he's very physical, and what happened with Ivanovic was unfortunate, but I'm sure he didn't do it with any bad intentions or in bad faith. Luis is a player who lives football 100%. He plays with a lot of intensity and right to the limit. We know Luis is capable of doing anything to win a game and sometimes he does things in the heat of the moment, but he is the type of player I'd always want in my team."

While at Ajax, Suarez was banned for seven games for biting PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal but Luque says this latest incident has been blown out of proportion because of the attention the Premier League receives.

"In the Premier League everything is exaggerated a lot and perhaps this is getting more coverage because it's not the first time something like this has happened to Luis," he added.

"There's no need to give more importance to it. He has said sorry and that's for the better. It is just an anecdote. If he left Liverpool they would find it tough to find someone of the same quality as him."

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