Luis Suarez had “no respect for anyone” in Liverpool training, which was a sign he was going to be a “top player” according to Reds great Steven Gerrard.
Uruguay striker Suarez scored 82 goals in 113 appearances during a prolific three-and-a-half-year stay on Merseyside between January 2011 and July 2014.
Suarez netted 31 Premier League goals during a sensational 2013-14 campaign, which saw Liverpool agonisingly lose out on the title to top-flight rivals Manchester City.
Former captain Gerrard remembered how Suarez’s dogged determination and desire to fight was always on show at Melwood.
It was that hunger that convinced Gerrard almost immediately he was playing alongside a special talent, even if it did mean the Reds’ defenders had a tough time of it in training.
“A lot of strikers that we used to sign did have respect for the likes of Jamie Carragher and other names around the squad but he had no respect for anyone in training, in a good way,” Gerrard told BBC’s Match of the Day Top 10 podcast about the now Barcelona superstar.
“He’d be backing into them, he’d be leaving a bit in on them, he’d have elbows up and I’d be thinking that’s not normally what you’d see in training, you’d normally see a lot of respect but Luis would run through anyone and have a defender up the wall at any given moment.
“You knew straight away in days rather than weeks that he was going to be a top player for Liverpool.”
It was during the 2013-14 campaign that the Reds had the destiny of the title in their own hands before a 2-0 loss to Chelsea, remembered for Gerrard’s infamous slip that allowed Demba Ba to open the scoring.
Six years later and Liverpool are champions of England for the first time in 30 years, a feat Gerrard says will help to “bury a few demons”.
“First and foremost, for me, it was fantastic to bury a few demons, from 2014 it was certainly a big relief,” added the Rangers boss.
“Being a Liverpool fan and ex-player, I’ve known the big, long wait and I’m still in touch with a lot of the players that are in that dressing room so a lot of them shared that pain with me.
“It was fantastic for everyone connected to the club, but it was mixed emotions in many ways because of my own experiences, being a fan and ex-player and a lot of my family are Liverpool fans as well.
“To be honest with you, I’m still on a really big high watching all of the TV coverage and seeing all of the emotions flying about.”