Whenever I have a one-on-one interview with a star player, I like having some fun with what I call “the rapid-fire quiz,” in which I ask about the soccer superlatives the player has seen and experienced in his career. I did it at the end of my recent interview with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and I also did it with Uruguay and Liverpool forward Luis Suárez.
Here’s some good new stuff that wasn’t part of my new SI magazine story on Suárez:
SI: Your best goal on the soccer field?
Suárez: I’ve scored many goals that I’ve liked. I think the best memory I have of a goal is the one against [South] Korea for Uruguay in the 2010 World Cup. It was a World Cup, that’s why.
SI: Best teammate you’ve ever had?
Suárez: This is tough. I’ve had a lot of great teammates who have been good players. As a player, these days, I would say [Liverpool’s Steven] Gerrard for his impact on my career. Not only as a person [in my life] but also as player on the field, because of how he speaks of me, how he’s been there in difficult moments, and I appreciate that very much.
SI: Achievement on the soccer field you’re most proud of?
Suárez: The biggest achievement as a player was getting to the top four in a World Cup with my national team [in 2010]. Then [winning the 2011] Copa América. That my children can say their father won the Copa América is something that makes me very happy.
SI: Toughest defender you have ever faced?
Suárez: There was a match I played against AC Milan: It was [Brazil’s] Thiago Silva. Currently, the toughest defender is [Belgium’s Vincent] Kompany from Manchester City.
SI: Toughest goalkeeper you’ve tried to score on?
Suárez: One doesn’t come to mind (laughs). Maybe not the toughest, but one who has made good saves against me is [Ben] Foster from West Bromwich. I have scored against West Bromwich, but not with him in goal.
SI: Best player you’ve ever played against?
Suárez: [Lionel] Messi, when playing against Argentina. It’s been a couple of times. But I think the best player I have seen—I saw him play in the Confederations Cup and it was confirmation for me that he is the best—is [Spain’s] Andrés Iniesta.