Brendan Rodgers hails "gladiator" Luis Suarez

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is hailed as a "gladiator" by manager Brendan Rodgers.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has paid tribute to star striker Luis Suarez, labelling the Uruguayan goalscorer a "gladiator".

Suarez goes into the Reds' game with Sunderland on Wednesday fresh from a hat-trick against Cardiff City, and Rodgers was quick to insist that the 27-year-old has displayed a strong character on and off the pitch this season.

He told The Mirror: "I think it's been nice for people to see the other side of Luis this season. People don't see he's a real quiet, humble guy off the field who becomes a gladiator when he crosses the white line.

"This year, he has been a model of brilliance. On the pitch it's never been questioned and if anything he has improved on that level.

"He's up for every game. He's a real strong pillar of our team. He's really dominant, that's why I had no hesitancy at the time making him skipper."

Liverpool could close to within a point of Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table if they beat the Wearsiders.

Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 16, 2014
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