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Gerrard: Suarez in a league of his own

Liverpool's captain heaped praise on the club's star striker, calling the latter the best player he's ever played with.

Steven Gerrard has hailed Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez as the best player he has played with "by a distance".

Uruguay striker Suarez has been outstanding for the Merseyside club this season and his contribution was recognized at the club's awards ceremony on Tuesday, when he won the Players' Player of the Year, Fans' Player of the Year and the goal of the season awards.

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The former Ajax man has also landed the Football Writers' Player of the Year and Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award after a stellar campaign for Brendan Rodgers' side.

Suarez was inconsolable after Liverpool squandered a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 at Crystal Palace on Monday, a setback that has left Manchester City as the favorite to win the Premier League title.

But England captain Gerrard reflected on an outstanding campaign for Suarez at Tuesday's awards ceremony and stressed the importance of keeping the 27-year-old at Anfield.

He said: "Luis seems to be cleaning up at the moment. He's won everything and we are lucky to have such a world-class talent like Luis playing here with us and helping us to do great things and be successful.

"He is out there by a big distance as the best player I have played with and that is no disrespect to anyone else - there has been some top talent for club and country - but this fella can do the lot. He is different to most footballers.

"I don't have to mention his talent, you can see it out there, and he is a fighter who doesn't give up. There is some disappointment looming around but if this fella stays around for a few more years I think there will be some really big nights."

Suarez equaled the Premier League record of 31 goals in a 38-game season when he struck at Palace, despite making just 32 appearances in the top flight.

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