Luis Suarez has paid an emotional tribute to ‘unique’ Steven Gerrard, thanking his former team-mate for his support during “tougher times”.
Gerrard announced the end of his 18-year playing career on Thursday, prompting words of praise from a whole host of high-profile football stars.
A number of former Liverpool players have also spoke of their admiration of the former Reds captain, including Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Ian Rush.
Suarez, who played with Gerrard at Anfield for three-and-a-half years, has become the latest to give thanks to the lasting impact of the 36-year-old.
The Uruguayan striker, who moved to Barcelona in 2014, formed a strong understanding with Gerrard both on and off the pitch, with the duo a crucial part of the Reds’ title challenge in 2013/14.
Taking to social media, Suarez addressed the former midfielder.
“To a captain, to a team-mate, to a friend,” it began.
“I got to Liverpool, a historic club, coming from another historic club. And amongst my team-mates, Steven Gerrard. A model of the club, in the Premier League and outside the championship as well. He shrunk the field on defence, was a great shoot and a great goalscorer and was a very skilled passer. A unique player indeed.
“As weeks went by Steven showed himself as a true leader. He was a natural and an ambitious player on the field and a good and consistent team-mate off the field. He was always of great support and that me lots of valuable things while pulling the best from me.
— Luis Suarez (@LuisSuarez9) November 24, 2016
“Thank you very much Steven. For being by my side during my career’s tougher times. For supporting me no matter what and gifting me advice so many times. Our relationship goes beyond the football field. You were always with me even when some others were not. So many chats, so many times you helped me reconsider situations, and always in order to teach me – like an older brother teaches his younger one.
“We went through so much together and fought for big things to come for our club. This will be imprinted forever in my memories.
“My friend. YNWA.”