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Suarez out to clean up image

4 June 2014 03:08

Uruguay forward Luis Suarez said he wants to alter his public image, after several reputation-tarnishing incidents.

At the top of the pile for the Liverpool superstar was an alleged racist remark towards Manchester United's Patrice Evra in October 2011.

Following that, Suarez bit Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in April 2013, which saw him banned for 10 matches.

Suarez's suspension extended into the 2013-14 Premier League season, but it did not stop him topping the golden boot standings with 31 goals in 33 games.

The 27-year-old said he wants his performances to represent him more than his indiscretions.

"I want to change the bad boy image that has stuck for a bit because I don't think I am at all how I have been portrayed," Suarez told Sports Illustrated.

"I would like that to change because it's awful to hear and read what is said of you.

"On the field, sometimes passion overwhelms you and you do things you regret afterward.

"At the same time, you have a chance to learn from those things.

"I think I (have) been a role model since last summer; I have been professional, and I have the desire to forge ahead and play well regardless of what is said to me."

Suarez said he feels footballers and elite athletes should be setting the example for future generations.

"Of course they should be. Many times attitudes are reflected in their performance on the field," he said.

"I've had some attitudes on the field that weren't very good for my image. But those weren't really me-outside- the field, I'm very shy.

"I realised I had to adjust my attitude on the field, to continue to play well but without the bad attitude."

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