Liverpool striker Luis Suarez insists he does not care about his public image, saying: “I still sleep soundly every night.”
The Uruguay international has never been far from controversy since joining the Reds last year, whether it be for his perceived habit of diving or the incident with Manchester United’s Patrice Evra which earned him an eight-game ban.
But he insists the boos and the criticism mean little to him.
“I still sleep soundly every night,” the 25-year-old told the Mail on Sunday. “I’m not worried about everything people say. I don’t care what people outside Liverpool think.”
Suarez is one of two high-profile top-flight players to have been banned for racial abuse of late.
But where as Suarez was out of action for eight games, Chelsea and former England captain John Terry received just a four-match ban for his abuse of Anton Ferdinand.
Suarez said: “They’re different situations. Terry is Terry and Suarez is Suarez – they’re different issues, and I never cared about the Terry case.”
Suarez insists he is not a diver, but conceded he had work to do in that area to improve his image.
“Sometimes you’re standing there and someone comes flying in, so you move your leg out of the way or you go to ground because you’re scared of getting hit,” he said. “If I leave my leg there so the referee can see it’s a foul, I risk suffering a big injury.
“That’s why sometimes your instinct tells you to go to ground. It’s a split-second instinct, not a conscious decision you make on the pitch. Of course, I don’t want people to go around saying ’this guy just dives’.’
He went on: “I’m trying to change and to avoid doing it because I know that football is different here, and it’s helping me at the same time.
“I’ve discussed it with both managers I’ve played under here, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers. Kenny also used to tell me not to protest so much, that I should focus more on playing football, that I have a lot of qualities and so should forget about referees. And Brendan has also told me a few things to help me improve.”