• Saturday, December 20, 2014

Freedom in the air

Grateful to you

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After scoring the opener, Luis Suarez ran straight to the bench and hugged Walter Ferreira, the man who got him fit in less than four weeks after a knee surgery. PHOTO: AFP
After scoring the opener, Luis Suarez ran straight to the bench and hugged Walter Ferreira, the man who got him fit in less than four weeks after a knee surgery. PHOTO: AFP

Amid the tears of rage, you may have noticed that Luis Suarez reserved special thanks for a certain somebody while celebrating scoring his first goal against England on Thursday night, with the striker running straight over to the Uruguay bench to give one of the team's back-room staff members a very pronounced hug.
That man was Walter Ferreira, who is actually the Uruguay's national team's in-house specialist kinesiologist and, in an above-and-beyond display of dedication to the cause, has actually put his own cancer treatment on hold in order to treat Suarez's persistent pre-tournament knee injury.
The 63-year-old has been working overtime ever since Suarez picked up the knock and underwent emergency surgery a fortnight or so before the World Cup was due to begin.
He's also, despite doctor's recommendations to the contrary, been travelling around Brazil with the rest of the Uruguay squad during the tournament, just to personally tend to Suarez's rehab.
Speaking after the game, Ferreira told a local radio station:
“The truth is that I am grateful, I am grateful that the coaching staff had the confidence to send Luis to work with me without any project, I could not go to the resort and he went to work in my house, that I appreciate so much.
“[Suarez] deserves everything that happened because he worked a lot. If he had not worked, I would not be here today. I will never forget what happened today, I am grateful as I already said. My family always gives me strength.”


Meanwhile, Suarez thanked the doctor too for getting him ready for the game.
“The energy you put it, the lady and my family, I am a grateful heart and I have to really thank the doctors treating me, no I will never forget," said the striker.
What a guy -- though, as England fans wished he hadn't bothered.

Published: 12:00 am Saturday, June 21, 2014

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