Barcelona striker Luis Suarez said he has received professional help
after receiving a four-month ban for biting an opponent for the third time in his
career when he clashed with Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.
Suarez made his debut for the Catalans in a 6-0 friendly win over Mexican side
Club Leon on Monday, but will not be able to play a competitive game for Barca
until late October after his appeal against the ban was thrown out by the Court
of Arbitration for Sport last week.
“The suspension is what it is and I have to accept it, it is a personal matter but
I have worked with the adequate professionals,” the Uruguayan said at his first
press conference as a Barca player on Tuesday.
“I have tried to forget this game and this situation as well. It is a difficult
moment for me and I would say to all the fans to not worry because I am not
doing that anymore.”
Suarez was believed to have been a long-term target for Barca’s eternal rivals
Real Madrid. However, Barca’s sporting vice-president Jordi Mestre said the
player’s desire to come to Catalonia had allowed the club to negotiate a fee of
81 million euros (£65 million, $109 million) with Liverpool, £10 million less than
the player’s £75 million release clause.
“There were options from other teams, but when the option of Barca became
clear I didn’t have any doubts because it was a dream for me,” added Suarez.
“I still can’t believe it. It is something I have dreamed about but I never
imagined such a beautiful dream would come true.”
Suarez could even make his competitive debut against Madrid should their first
clash of the season be scheduled for Saturday, October 25 or the following day
and he is determined to ensure he is as fit as possible when that game comes
around in case coach Luis Enrique calls on him to start.
“It’s not the same but I had a similar situation last year at Liverpool, I started
to play on September 20. It is a long time but if you keep focused with your
teammates in training it helps.”
Barcelona already have a wealth of talent available in attacking areas with four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi and Brazilian star Neymar, meaning
Suarez is likely to be forced into a role on the right side of the attack.
However, he insisted that won’t phase him as he dovetailed with Daniel
Sturridge last year to form a deadly partnership that nearly delivered Liverpool first Premier League title in 24 years.
“I am prepared to play any position in attack. This last year I played on the left
and on the right because Sturridge played as the number nine. I don’t have any
problem playing in any position and adapting myself to what the coach
“The quality that Leo and Ney have is amazing, they are players you admire.
Yesterday I was watching them in the first half and they make you want to stop