Rodgers pointedly refused to name Bale — who travels to Anfield with Spurs tomorrow — but there was no hiding who was in his sights.
He blasted: “That’s not even been mentioned today but I know if it had been Luis, I’d be sitting answering questions for half an hour. That’s why I defend him.
“If people are judging him on his football, he’s been consistently the best player right through the season.
“Judge him outside the football and it won’t be just him because there have been misdemeanours by others.
“You have to accept it’s part of life and football, but I hope the Player of the Year is judged purely on qualities on the field.
“It’s quite clear and not just with Luis but other foreign players too. It seems to be funny and quite enjoyable when it’s a British player and quite different when it’s a foreign one.
“I can only protect my player and judge him from what we see — and Luis has been phenomenal.”