When Luis Suarez pulled on the captain’s armband for the first time in a Barclays Premier League game at White Hart Lane in December, he knew he was following in the footsteps of a host of icons.
Brendan Rodgers made the Uruguayan his skipper for the Reds’ clash against Tottenham Hotspur, and the No. 7 responded by producing a display worthy of the mantle.
In the absence of Steven Gerrard, Suarez led by example. He hit two sublime strikes and supplied two sumptuous assists as the visitors ran riot with a five-star demolition.
For the 27-year-old, taking on the skipper’s role was more than just recognition of his undoubted talent. It was a gesture that consolidated his relationship with the Kop faithful.
Leading Liverpool out into action, a feat he first achieved against Oldham Athletic in January 2013, was also a moment that the formidable forward never envisaged coming to fruition.
“It was weird — strange,” he told FourFourTwo magazine. “I’d never imagined myself as Liverpool skipper. It proved that my commitment to the club and to my teammates is genuine and that I’m giving the maximum. Everyone here lives to help the club.
“Being Liverpool captain is something that validates you and makes you feel appreciated, because there have been some fantastic leaders here.”