Luis Suarez is adamant that he is not a diver or a cheat, despite the poor reputation the Uruguayan has picked up during his time in the Premier League.
The Liverpool striker has often been at the forefront of controversial incidents since joining Liverpool from Ajax in 2011 as a replacement for the Chelsea-bound Fernando Torres, who comes up against his former club at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Despite ringing endorsements about his quality on the field from his captain Steven Gerrard and manager Brendan Rodgers, Suarez remains a divisive figure among fans - something he feels is unwarranted.
"I insist I don’t dive in the penalty area," the 25-year-old Suarez told The Sun. "This is my career and the bad reputation created around me is unjust. There always seems to be controversy surrounding me, but I accept the referee’s decisions - they are only human.
"I accept the criticism against me, but many people attack me without reason. That doesn’t please me, but I try to do my best day by day. If you analyze the statistics I am one of the forwards who receives the most fouls and free kicks."
The Uruguayan forward is enjoying a fairly prolific season in front of goal, netting seven times for the struggling Reds so far this campaign. It is his form that has led to support from his manager and teammates, with his Gerrard comparing Suarez to Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
“He plays the false No. 9 role like Messi does for Barcelona, where he moves freely and others have to get in behind him to penetrate. He is a world-class striker,” Gerrard said.
Despite the obvious comparisons with former Anfield star Fernando Torres, Suarez insists that he and the Spaniard are completely different players.
"Torres is highly regarded by Liverpool fans, but I prefer not to draw comparisons between us, because we are a different type of forward," Suarez added. "I am not envious of anything he did for Liverpool. Maybe we are similar in the way we battle against defenders and our passion is the same, but technically we are different."