Barcelona striker Luis Suárez promised his new team’s fans on Tuesday that he would never again bite an opposing player after his assault on Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during the 2014 World Cup. The Uruguayan striker also revealed that he had received professional help in the incident’s aftermath.
In his first public appearance since biting Chiellini on June 24, Suárez admitted that he had “dealt with the appropriate professionals” to curb his past behavior, the Guardian reports. However, the 24-year-old declined to address whether or not he had attended therapy, referring to the situation as a “private issue.”
“I prefer not to look back. I want to forget about that game,” Suárez said. “It was a difficult moment for me.”
FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee announced on June 26 that Suárez would be banned from play for four months and suspended for nine official matches. In addition, he was forced to pay a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs.
“There were a few days when I was depressed and I didn’t feel like talking at all,” Suárez said. “But I spent some time alone with my family and I thought about it and realized that I had to accept the reality and apologize. It’s in the past now, forgotten.”
The press conference also marked Suárez’s first appearance as a member of the Barcelona football club. Jordi Mestre, the team’s vice president, revealed that the Catalans acquired Suárez for £65 million, about £10 million lower than his full buy-out clause with Liverpool of the English Premier League. “That was fundamentally down to two factors: the skill of those negotiating and Suarez’s desire to come,” Mestre said.
Suárez trained with his Barcelona teammates for the first time on Aug. 15. However, he will not be able to play in an official game until Oct. 26, when Barcelona plays Real Madrid.