Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona striker Luis Suarez spoke candidly on Tuesday about his infamous World Cup bite and the Patrice Evra racism row ahead of his return at Real Madrid.
The 27-year-old goal-king is coming to the end of a four-month ban for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, his third such offence and one he long denied before coming clean.
After a diet of training and friendlies he will be available to make his competitive Barcelona debut against Real on October 25.
Reflecting on the Chiellini attack he told his club’s website: “I’m only human and sometimes it’s hard to face the truth.
“I found it hard to take in and to realise what I had done. Those were days when I didn’t want to know about it,” he explained.
“I didn’t want to listen to anybody, or speak to anybody. I didn’t want to accept it,” he added.
The controversial striker however remained unrepentant over a 2011 incident where he was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.
He was eventually banned for eight games after being found guilty of repeatedly making reference to Evra’s ethnic origin.
“I was accused without evidence and that’s what grieved me the most,” the Uruguayan said.
“The others were actions when it was me who did wrong. I accepted that and begged forgiveness, but the racism thing, when I was accused without evidence, that did upset me,” commented Suarez, who received widespread support in Uruguay, but was also heavily fined in England for the offence.
The racism incident and the Chiellini bite helped pave the way for his 81 million euros (£65 million, $109 million) transfer from Liverpool to Barcelona in July, the striker feeling the Catalan giants were a better platform for his brilliance.
“If I hadn’t had the attitude and mentality to lead the team, I don’t think Liverpool would have done as well as they did,” Suarez told Barcelona’s site, referring to Liverpool’s stunning 2013-2014 run of wins that saw them miss the Premier League title by a hair’s breadth.
Suarez also spoke at length of his comeback match, saying the Saturday week clash with “Real Madrid in the Spanish capital was written into his destiny.
“You know, I’m the kind of person who believes that things happen for a reason, and out of all 19 teams in the league, it’s precisely against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu that I’ll make my comeback.
“There must be a reason.”