New Barcelona frontman Luis Suarez finally made his La Liga debut in a recent friendly against Mexican side Leon. His 15-minute cameo was the outcome of a verdict presented to him and his legal counsel regarding his four month ban from FIFA. Suarez was allowed to train but the length of the ban would not be reduced. It should therefore come as no surprise, that the former Liverpool forward has sought psychological help in order to gain control over his ‘biting’ tendencies on the pitch.
Hopefully the professional help can tame ‘the animal inside’. Suarez’s animal instincts have caused him to bite players on three previous occasions – the last victim being Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. A year ago, it was Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic and resulted in a 10-game ban for the Uruguayan striker. His first incident was noted four years ago when he bit PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal. According to the DailyMail, Suarez was quoted as saying, “That is a private matter, but I am speaking to professionals. The right professionals”.
The South American sensation feels he now needs to move-on from the incident and focus on winning silverware with his new team. “I don’t like having to go back (and think about it). When it happened afterwards I was really down. I spoke to my psychologist, he said I had to face reality and say I was sorry. I am trying to forget this game and this situation,” he explained.
“It was a difficult moment for me. I say to the fans, ‘Don’t worry about that (happening again)’. I’m here to do important things for Barcelona. Everything in the past needs to be forgotten. If I start thinking about everything I have had to go through I wouldn’t be able to sleep. This is a club I have dreamed of playing for since I was a boy and I want to make the most of it,” he added.
While at Anfield, Suarez became a Kop hero after the departure of ex-golden boy Fernando Torres to Chelsea, in January of 2011. In his last season with the Reds, he scored 31 goals and was awarded the PFA Player of the Year and the Golden Boot. Over the summer he was courted by top clubs including Real Madrid and his new club Barcelona. Despite the biting incident in the World Cup, the Catalans were able to make the transfer happen when Liverpool agreed to a fee of £75 million.
However, if the latest reports are to be believed, Barcelona may have actually paid £10 million less than what Liverpool claim they sold him for. The Daily Mail reports Barcelona Executive Vice President Jordi Mestre saying, “Suarez’s clause was £75m and in the end we paid £65m thanks to the skill of those negotiating”. In order to ensure their new signing stays put at Camp Nou, the Catalans have reportedly included a jaw-dropping £160 million release clause.
The 27-year-old is now playing for his dream club and is expected to debut in the El Clasico against rivals Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on October 26th.
But how will his former club Liverpool now cope without him? Well, that’s another story…