If I Ever Play in EPL Again, I Will Only Play for Liverpool: Suarez

Suarez played 45 minutes of a charity all-star game at Anfield organised by Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher.

Published: 30th March 2015 09:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2015 09:19 AM   |  A+A-


Luis Suarez says Liverpool is the only English club that could tempt him back to the Premier League after he received a rapturous reception on his return to Anfield.

Suarez played 45 minutes of a charity all-star game organised by Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, joining ex-Kop heroes Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Pepe Reina.

The Uruguayan was moved to say he would never play for any other English side.

"You never know in football what the future holds but if I ever play in England again I will play for the Liverpool team and not another team," said Suarez.

"It's great to come back to Anfield. Not just for the old players coming back but those who play now and for the supporters, for Stevie and the foundation - it was a special game.

"I've missed the fans. The atmosphere is unbelievable, it's amazing.Everyone who's played for Liverpool knows how important the supporters are. They know they are in my heart." Whatever the circumstances of their departure, Suarez and Torres were afforded the classiest of returns.

The choreography was more Broadway than Merseyside as the duo made their entrance. While the players lined up to start the second half, Suarezand Torres were late out of the tunnel, emerging to what amounted to a redemption song from The Kop.

Neither ex-striker felt they were given the chance to bid a fitting farewell to Liverpool, although they left in vastly different circumstances - Suarez's pounds 75?million exit to Barcelona in 2014 more palatable than Torres' pounds 50?million move to Chelsea in 2011. For both, this was not so much hello again as a more amicable goodbye in front of 44, 903 spectators.

The fascination of an entertaining 2-2 draw was in establishing where the various returning idols were placed in the hierarchy of gratitude from The Kop.

The Uruguayan was just ahead in the popularity poll - the immediacy with which the red carpet was rolled out for him is proof that. Torres has needed four years to banish the memories of the jeers he received on Merseyside in a Chelsea shirt, but the sound of supporters singing and bouncing to his name must have felt like the diluting of any remaining bad blood.

At one point he stopped playing to applaud the fans, visibly moved.

"It's very emotional. I did not know how to react. To hear that song once again is something I'll never forget," said Torres.

The strikers were not the sole beneficiaries of The Kop's generosity, with Alonso, Reina and Luis Garcia also welcomed enthusiastically.

If any, it was Alonso's return that provoked most glee. His was the first name to chime from stands on an afternoon where visiting Chelsea players John Terry and Didier Drogba were even cheered by The Kop.

The match itself was an exhibition. Mario Balotelli scoring the first and creating the second for Drogba on behalf of Carragher's all-stars. Gerrard scored a penalty in each half.

Defender Jon Flanagan played his first 30 minutes of the season, and Lucas Leiva's 72 minute appearance offers Rodgers more midfield options for next week's Premier League trip to Arsenal.

 Whether this game was a chance for Gerrard to enjoy a final flourish with his pals prior to his LA move - it felt more like an unofficial second testimonial - or the first of an annual event acclaiming lost idols, this was an afternoon of gracefulness off the park as much as on it..

Steven Gerrard XI: Jones; Johnson, Terry, A Gerrard, Riise; Sinclair, S Gerrard, Alonso, Babel; Nolan; Henry. 2nd-half XI: Jones; Johnson, Dann, Williams, Warnock, S Gerrard, Adam, Spearing, Babel, Torres, Suarez.

Jamie Carragher XI: Reina; Flanagan, Kelly, Carragher, Arbeloa; Downing, Lucas, Shelvey, Kewell; Drogba, Balotelli. 2nd-half XI: Reina; Clichy, Kelly, Moreno, Carragher, Lucas, Noone, Borini, Bellamy, Balotelli, Garcia.


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