Uruguay striker Luis Suarez said his two-goal match-winning performance against England in Thursday’s 2-1 win in World Cup Group D was the perfect response to his critics.
“I have been thinking about this, it was something I dreamed about happening quite a lot,” he told reporters. “I’m enjoying this moment, because of all I suffered, the criticism I received. So there you go.”
Suarez scored with a clever first-half header and struck the winner five minutes from time with a trademark powerful shot to almost certainly eliminate England from the tournament.
“Before the game too many people in England laughed about my attitude over the last few years,” he said. “This is a very good time for me. I want to see what they think now. “It was one of the best games I’ve played. It’s an amazing moment for me. Maybe a few days ago I thought this wouldn’t be possible.”
The controversial Liverpool striker had knee surgery last month and missed the opening game against Costa Rica, so he was also keen to pay tribute to his doctor Walter Ferreira.
“If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here,” Suarez said. Recalling his winning goal, Suarez, who has served lengthy bans in England for racially abusing and biting opponents, said he wanted to dedicate it to those people who had stuck with him.
“When I saw the ball I closed my eyes and kicked it for all the things I went through, for the people that supported me,” he said, his voice cracking. “And it went in.
“Nobody could have imagined a match like this,” the 27-year-old said.
Uruguay joined Italy and Costa Rica, who play on Friday, on three points at the top of the group.