Luis Suárez has assured Barcelona fans he will not bite an opponent again.
In the strange, fevered world world of Luis Suarez, the headline ‘man not biting opponent,’ really does constitute news.
The Uruguayan was speaking after making his debut for Barcelona in a pre-season friendly match against Leon. Suarez, who is suspended from playing an official match for his new club until October 26 after biting an opponent at the World Cup, came off the bench to play the last 15 minutes of Monday’s game.
Mercifully, for his new employers, Suarez was on his best behaviour when he addressed the assembled press gathering afterwards.
“I know I must accept the reality and have apologised,” he said afterwards. “That is something from the past and to be forgotten. When [bite] happened I felt very down, then saw I had to apologise. I prefer not to go back over all I have been through.
“The lesson is clear. The lesson I should take on myself. It was my mistake. But that is the past now. I say to the fans not to worry as it will not happen again.”
Barcelona director Andoni Zubizarreta described Suárez as a “competitive” and a “committed” player “as we saw with Uruguay at the World Cup”.
Although, many would argue that the player we saw with Uruguay was not so much a committed player, but a player who should have been committed.
Zubizarreta also reiterated that the player was signed from Liverpool for 81m Euros (£65m), significantly less than the fee reported of around £75m.
Monday’s match also marked the return to action of Neymar, who has not played since breaking a vertebrae in Brazil’s World Cup quarter-final tie against Colombia. The striker showed no sign of rustiness, scoring twice in the 6-0 rout. How he, Suarez and Messi combine over the coming campaign will be one of the more intriguing stories of the 2014-15 season in Spain.