Luis Suarez Liverpool
Liverpool forward Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring against Sunderland in their English Premier League game, September 29Reuters

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez said Steven Gerrard had a major influence in his eventual decision to stay at Anfield, despite interest from English Premier League rivals Arsenal.

Suarez was the subject of a bid of £40 million and £1 from Arsenal in the summer, but with Liverpool refusing to sell their player a move did not materialise.

Gerrard said he woke up every morning "hoping that nothing would happen and that he (Suarez) would still be there," as the Liverpool skipper looked to persuade Suarez to remain at Anfield.

The Uruguayan could have handed in a transfer request in a bid to force through a move, but Suarez admitted Gerrard and the club's fans played a big role in his decision to roll with the punches, put his head down and continue his career at Liverpool.

"I do not know if he prayed but what he said is what he feels because he was talking to me all the time," Suarez told reporters in Montevideo on his arrival in Uruguay for their crucial World Cup qualifiers.

"Gerrard, for me, is a legend in Liverpool and a great team-mate that helped me a lot. His attitude was an extra boost for me to take the decision to stay in Liverpool; both he and the fans of Liverpool influenced much for that.

"I admire him for the great player he is worldwide. For me he will always be a benchmark and at club level he is the best player I have played with in my career, as a person and as a footballer."

Suarez played his first match for Liverpool, after serving a ten-match suspension, against Manchester United in the Capital One Cup, before finding his scoring boots in two successive Premier League games.

The 26-year-old said he is much calmer on the field now after the Branislav Ivanovic biting incident.

"I am aware that in recent matches that I played I've been calmer," he said.

"I am very self-critical and I realised that playing well, with more tranquility, is helping me a lot. I realise and I prefer to continue and not be the same as before."

In his first home game of the season at Anfield, Suarez came onto the pitch for the pre-match handshakes against Crystal Palace with his new-born son Benjamin and three-year-old daughter Delfina.

Suarez revealed he had to insist on bringing his children with him despite the club officials' resistance.

"In England it is not common and the first club people told me I was not going to go with them but I told them that my children were going to come with me, like it or not," he added.

"They understood in the end and it was a nice moment, a unique moment for me. They (family) make me think hard and calm me. Nowadays I think a lot of them when I'm on the field.

"I wanted my son to live as I do. I suffered a lot as a child and I do not want my children, or any other child, to experience the circumstances as I did. As a parent I try to give them all the love in the world and all the best."

Suarez refuted some of the comments which suggested the Uruguayan had brought his children onto the pitch to prevent the Anfield faithful from getting on his back after a summer of turmoil surrounding his future.

"What the English papers say I do not care," Suarez said. "The only thing I care about is playing football, and enjoying my family is what I love most."

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