Football - Rodgers: Fans should appreciate Suarez talent

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes English football fans should enjoy watching controversial forward Luis Suarez while they can.

PA Sport

Suarez again hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in the wake of his handball goal that helped the Reds beat non-league Mansfield 2-1 in Sunday's FA Cup third-round tie.

The Uruguayan, whose career has been marked by a series of controversies, controlled the ball with his right wrist before steering Liverpool's second goal over the line after his initial shot had been saved by Stags goalkeeper Alan Marriott.

It could be argued that the goal would not have created nearly as much of a stir had it been scored by any other player, and while Rodgers feels Suarez's reputation goes before him, he insists the 25-year-old should be embraced for his exceptional ability.

"He has had seven yellow cards this year, but he hasn't warranted all seven," said Rodgers.

"He is a wonderful professional. I think in this country we need to enjoy it whilst he is here because he is a brilliant talent.

"He is a good man as well, a good family man, and as a manager, he is someone who wants to come in and work.

"He wanted to start Sunday's game, even though he has really been my only striker for the last six months. [Sunday] was a game he was up for because it was street football for him, he enjoys that type of game.

"But I can only talk about his talents. I always try to educate the players, with regard to every aspect of their life.

"As I've said, he's very receptive, and we go forward with him."

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