BARCELONA: Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has said it was “hard to face the truth” of his bite on Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at last summer’s World Cup.
The Uruguayan, who joined Barca from Liverpool for £75m in July, was banned for four months for the incident.
Suarez, 27, said: “I found it hard to take in and realise what I had done. I’m only human and sometimes it’s hard to face the truth. I didn’t want to listen to anybody, or speak to anybody. I didn’t want to accept it.”
Suarez apologised to Chiellini on 30 June – six days after Uruguay’s 1-0 Group D win over Italy – saying the Juventus defender “suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me”.
Suarez initially said he lost balance and fell on the Italian face first.
Chiellini accepted Suarez’s apology via Twitter, saying the incident was “forgotten” and expressing hope FIFA would reduce his ban.
Suarez has been training and playing in friendlies, scoring two goals in Uruguay’s 3-0 win over Oman on Monday. The first competitive match for which he will be available after his suspension is Barcelona’s league match away to fierce rivals Real Madrid on Saturday week.
His new side are top of La Liga – four points clear of Real – after dropping only two points in their first seven games.
“I’m getting more anxious to play and help the team out,” Suarez added.
“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.”
Messi and Neymar on song
Suarez’s new team-mates Leo Messi and Neymar have both been among the internationals goals.
Messi scored twice as Argentina beat Hong Kong 7-0 in a friendly. The Barcelona forward came on in the second half and grabbed Argentina’s fifth and seventh goals, first clipping home and then rifling in a low effort.
Sevilla’s Ever Banega had drilled in the opener before a Gonzalo Higuain header and Nicolas Gaitan drive gave the away side a 3-0 half-time lead. Higuain got his second after the break, while Gaitan also tapped in for a brace in-between Messi’s goals.
Argentina were playing their second game in the Far East, having lost 2-0 to Brazil in the Superclasico de las Americas in Beijing on Saturday. Coach Gerardo Martino opted to leave most of his first-choice players out of the starting line-up for the game at the Hong Kong Stadium. Messi, Manchester United’s Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero of Manchester City all started on the bench.
As for Neymar, he scored all four goals as Brazil eased to a 4-0 friendly win over Japan in Singapore. The 22-year-old thus took his tally to 40 in 58 internationals.
He rounded Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima and slotted in for the first, before adding a second from a pass by Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho. The Barcelona forward, who helped Brazil to victory against Argentina on Saturday, swept in to make it 3-0 and headed the fourth from Kaka’s cross.
Neymar also went close with a free-kick that hit the post, while Kaka’s header was pushed on to the bar by Kawashima. Japan forward Shinji Okazaki also struck the woodwork with a fierce right-foot drive.