Barcelona's Luis Suarez to return to competition after biting ban
Barcelona striker Luis Suarez will make his club debut in Saturday's La Liga league match against Real Madrid, Barcelona manager Luis Enrique said Friday.
It will be Suarez’s first match after his four-month ban from competition ends at midnight.
FIFA suspended Suarez for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder during Uruguay's 1-0 win at the World Cup on June 24. He was also suspended for nine international matches.
Suarez's appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport was rejected, and the organization upheld the suspension in August. Throughout the suspension, Suarez was allowed to train with Barcelona and play in friendlies for Uruguay.
Suarez was also suspended for separate biting incidents in 2010 and 2013. He said that he believes that he is cured from biting after seeing a therapist and understands why biting is bad.
“I think all the bad things I have been through are in the past. 'I believe I am on the right path now, dealing with the people who can help me, the right kind of people," Suarez said to the Guardian. “Everyone has different ways of defending themselves. In my case, the pressure and tension came out in that way.
For Saturday's clash, Enrique gave no hints about his starting lineup, but said that Suarez is expected to make an appearance.
“He will have some minutes for sure. It is important for him to be incorporated in the team,” Enrique said.
Suarez, 27, came to Barcelona this summer from Liverpool after Barcelona paid a club-record $130 million transfer fee. Last season, he scored 31 goals in all competitions.
Suarez's Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi is one goal from setting the league's career scoring record, while Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo leads the league with 15 goals in eight matches this season.
Barcelona enters the match sitting on top of La Liga with 22 points, while Real Madrid are four points behind in third place.
- Scooby Axson