David Luiz is adamant that flair players do NOT need greater protection in the modern game.
The Arsenal star’s comments come as the fall-out from last weekend’s explosive Merseyside derby rages on.
Kop boss Jurgen Klopp is still fuming over the Jordan Pickford scissor challenge on Virgil van Dijk, which left his Dutch defender out for the season with a cruciate knee injury.
The fact the England and Everton keeper did not receive a red card on the day – nor any retrospective punishment from the FA – has only fuelled the Liverpool chief's anger.
However, Luiz believes such ugly incidents – and the potential injuries that can follow – are part and parcel of the beautiful game.
And, as far as the Brazilian defender is concerned, the football laws are fine as they are when it comes to dealing with the more combative side of the sport.
Unless, that is, we want to eradicate tackling completely.
Central defender Luiz, 33, declared: “It’s a game with contact. This is football and it’s always going to be like that.
“When a player goes to try to make someone bad (with a challenge), or do something bad, we can see it.
“But it’s part of our job and sometimes we’re unlucky with some balls – and you can get injured yourselves or hurt someone.
“You must say sorry, be humble, and if you really mean that, everybody will see this.
“But the most important thing is we have to protect football.
“Football is made to make people happy and we must play it like that – but also understand some contact exists.”
Talking of defending, Luiz and his Arsenal team-mates seem to have found their form at the back this season.
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Going into the weekend, the North Londoners boasted the second meanest rearguard in the Premier League, having conceded only six times.
That is, arguably, the most significant change since Mikel Arteta took over the Emirates’ helm last December.
Ahead of today’s home clash against fellow top-six outfit Leicester, Luiz insisted the transformation is all down to the Spanish coach working his magic.
Keeping it tight is a collective effort – from front to back – according to Luiz, who for now appears to have cut out those individual errors that have often blighted his copybook.
The ex-Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain ace went on: “We’re working hard, we understand what Mikel wants from us, we know how we want to play and have the right mentality and attitude. We want to achieve.
“The first defenders are the strikers. They have to do their job, pressing in the right way – and this makes things much easier for us.
“We have a great mentality with Mikel in this way. When we have the ball, we try to enjoy ourselves as much as possible and when we don’t have the ball, we try to regain it.
“It’s not just about defending the last line with the keeper, it’s about the whole team working together with fight and commitment.”
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