The Uruguayan had a patchy reputation and arrived at Camp Nou carrying a four-month ban, but his coach says the striker has been immaculately admirable
Luis Enrique has lauded Luis Suarez for the way he has conducted himself on and off the field at Barcelona.
Suarez signed for the Catalans last summer but was unable to make his debut until October because he was serving a four-month ban for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at World Cup 2014 – the third such offence of the Uruguay international’s career.
The striker initially struggled to score goals at Camp Nou but he has rediscovered his very best form since the turn of the year and Luis Enrique feels that the 28-year-old deserves credit for the way in which he has gone about his business since arriving from Liverpool.
“The things we work on are between us but I would like to comment on his attitude and behaviour,” the Barca boss told reporters on Friday.
“He made a mistake on the pitch but here he hasn’t made any mistakes. I’m very conscious about all our players’ individual situations, especially for him.
“I understand the way he feels and lives football matches. He has demonstrated self-control and we’re very happy with him.
“Not just his performances but behaviour on the field. It’s great for everyone to have him carry himself in that way.”
Suarez has formed a formidable forward line with Lionel Messi and Neymar, with the trio’s goals propelling Barca towards a treble.
However, Luis Enrique insists he will not be afraid to rest one of his star strikers in the coming weeks if he feels it would be beneficial for the squad.
“I see them the way I always see them, like the rest of the players,” he said.
“Everything’s possible, it depends on decisions I make. What, do you want me to rotate them or not? Do you want me to explain who I’m going to rotate?
“Nothing is decided, it will be a function of what I think will be best for the team and for the games this season.”
Barca currently sit two points clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga with four rounds of the season remaining, while they face Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals next week.
Luis Enrique insists there is no chance of his players taking their eyes off the Primera Division prize, claiming that they will treat every game with the utmost respect, starting with this weekend’s meeting with Cordoba.
“La Liga is not decided and the players know that. I can see that in training,” he added.
“We will need a good level to overcome Cordoba. With four games still to play, there is still much work to do.
“It’s like a marathon. You can’t get close to end, stop and start walking.
“We are in the most exciting stretch of the season. It is the most decisive stage.”
Meanwhile, the former Spain international refused to be drawn on the futures of forward Pedro and full-back Dani Alves, both of whom are being linked with moves away from Barca this year.
“I have already known for years how good Dani Alves is,” he stated. “This year his behaviour has been spectacular and he has been at his best from an athletic perspective.
“We are now focused on our objectives. At the end of the season we’ll talk about each individual case.
“But all I can say is that Pedro is a top player and has always helped us from within or outside the group.”