Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has accepted responsibility for most of his past misdemeanours but is still "upset" over his punishment for racially abusing Patrice Evra.
The 27-year-old is set to make his competitive comeback from a four-month worldwide ban next week in El Clasico against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, which was imposed after he bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup.
While he accepts his current suspension, and the 10-game ban imposed for a similar incident involving Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic were his own fault, he is still unhappy over how his argument with then Manchester United defender Evra in October 2011 was dealt with.
“It is good to accept that you have made a mistake and that’s what I did,” he said in reference to the Chiellini bite.
“I left it a few days because you have to remember that I’m only human and sometimes it’s hard to face the truth. I found it hard to take in and to realise what I had done. Those were days when I didn’t want to know about it.
“I didn’t want to listen to anybody, or speak to anybody. I didn’t want to accept it. When I say I’m sorry it’s because I regret something. Beingsorry implies regret.
“But they have also sometimes judged me on things that aren’t true, such as the racism thing. I was accused without evidence and that’s what grieved me the most.
“The others were actions when it was me who did wrong. I accepted that and begged forgiveness, but the racism thing, when I was accused without evidence, that did upset me.”
Suarez has been allowed to play in friendlies during his ban after successfully appealing against an original ruling which prevented him from being involved in any football-related activity. On Monday he scored twice for Uruguay in a 3-0 win over Oman but admits he cannot wait to end his competitive exile.
“The first two months were the hardest because I didn’t feel like a footballer. That was the worst part,” he added. “It is always good to accept your mistakes but what angered me most was not feeling like a professional, not feeling like another worker, like other footballers do. That’s what hurt me the most.”
Suarez also claims Liverpool would never have mounted their unexpected title challenge last season without him.
The Uruguay international scored 31 Premier League goals as the Reds finished runners-up to Manchester City last May and insists he left Anfield a happy man this summer.
“Personal success is always welcome and makes you happy, because that’s recognition of the good work you have done,” said Suarez.
“But I put the team ahead of that and last season Liverpool came so close to winning the Premier League, which would have been spectacular.”
Suarez added: “I appreciate all the work the team did but I missed six matches and scored all those goals without being the penalty-taker.
“The truth is that I left very happy because if I hadn’t had the attitude and mentality to want to lead the team forward, I don’t think Liverpool would have done as well as they did.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved