By Tim Hanlon
Controversial striker Luis Suarez said he was “very depressed” after the World Cup biting incident that led to the Uruguay international being initially banned from all soccer activities for four months.
Suarez can now train with new club Barcelona and play friendlies, following an appeal hearing last week, before making his competitive return at the end of October.
“I prefer not to look backwards,” the former Liverpool forward said as he was presented to the media at the Nou Camp on Tuesday.
“I didn’t want to do anything and I was very depressed,” added Suarez referring to his state of mind following the biting incident involving Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup in Brazil.
“I decided that all I could do was accept reality and say sorry. I have apologised to people in Uruguay for what happened and I am now looking ahead.”
The Uruguayan featured for the first time for Barca when he came on for the last 15 minutes of Monday’s 6-0 friendly victory over Mexican side Leon.
Suarez, who was also banned for seven matches in 2010 after biting a PSV Eindhoven player while representing Ajax Amsterdam, has talked to specialists about his behaviour and promised no repeat offences.
“I say to fans, don’t worry, because I won’t do that any more,” he vowed. “I spoke to my psychologist and he said I had to face it and say sorry.”
Suarez is set to play his first La Liga game in the ‘Clasico’ against Real Madrid the weekend of Oct. 25-26.
During Tuesday’s presentation, vice-president Jordi Mestre disclosed that the transfer fee Barca had agreed with Liverpool was 65 million pounds.
“I hope the time goes quickly as I want to play again,” said Suarez. “It is going to be difficult as I will have to wait some months but I have accepted this.
“My job is to train and be ready to return by the end of October. All I can do is prepare and be ready for the game against Real.
“It would be great to play but it is down to the coach,” added Suarez.
“I have really found a great atmosphere in the dressing room…everyone has been very friendly and obviously the time passes quicker if you are with team mates and new people.”
Brazil forward Neymar and former World Player of the Year Lionel Messi were involved in Monday’s match.
“Neymar and Messi were fantastic to watch,” said Suarez. “Everyone knows what I can offer and I will work hard to bring trophies back to Barca which is the reason I am here.”