Uruguay striker Luis Suárez has said that England manager Roy Hodgson made him more determined to beat them when he denied the attacker was worthy of being called a “world-class” player.
England manager Roy Hodgson had said after his sides’ defeat against Italy that Luis Suarez is not at the same level of Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Now it seems that this jibe has helped the striker to show his true class as Suarez scored two impressive goals against England to leave them on the brink of an early World Cup exit.
“You can be a great player in your league but to be recognised as one of the all-time greats you have got to do it at the World Cup,” said Hodgson.
Suarez feels that those words and continuous talk over his knee injury motivated him to score these goals. “It wasn’t revenge, but in England they talked about the injury and the coach had words that annoyed [me],” Suárez was speaking to the Uruguayan website Tenfield. “The England coach said I was a proven Premier League player, but not world class.
“So there is the answer. He sees me all year and he knows my worth as a player and a person. It takes courage and character to keep moving forward.”
Suárez’s place in Uruguay’s World Cup squad was thrown into doubt as he had a surgery for his knee injury. But after missing the game against Costa Rica, Suárez started against England. But Suarez disclosed that he was only half fit. He said: “I was probably only 50% fit – but it is due to the work of all the fantastic doctors and physiotherapist that I was able to be 50% ready – and I am thankful that that was enough to beat England.”
Physio Walter Ferreira played a major role in Suarez’s quick return from the injury and the player also acknowledged this fact. “My wife and my two children are important to me and Walter is also important, the goals were for him because of what he did for me,” he said. “I have to thank him. I scored the goals, but he is the man responsible for them.”
The future of Uruguay still remains uncertain despite their victory against England as they have to play against Italy, which is expected to decide the qualifiers from Group D. And Suarez understands the importance of this game.
“I have some more days to get ready for the next game now – and the more I train the sharper and more ready I will be. It was a fantastic result – but it is not the job done. We need to make sure we go and get the right result against Italy – and then if we progress out of the group we can start to dream about what is possible.” Suarez said.