Luis Suarez on the 'right path' to cure biting 'impulse'
Barcelona striker Luis Suarez believes that he is on the "right path" to improve his character and reputation, the Guardian reported on Friday.
Suarez, who is set to make his debut with Barcelona against Real Madrid on Saturday night, revealed to the Guardian that he has been undergoing therapy to cure his "impulse" to bite.
He added that he understood the controversy sparked when he bit Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay's 1-0 victory over Italy in the World Cup. The Uruguayan striker was banned for four months after the incident.
"I believe I am on the right path now, dealing with people who can help me, the right kind of people." Suarez said. "Everyone has different ways of defending themselves. In my case, the pressure and tension came out in that way."
"There are other players who react by breaking someone's leg ... What happened with Chiellini is seen as worse. I understand why biting is seen so badly."
The 27-year-old was held out of competition for the remainder of the World Cup, and watched his side get eliminated by Colombia in later rounds.
However, the court of arbitration for sport ruled on appeal that he was allowed to train with his new teammates at Barcelona, which acquired him from Liverpool for £75 million.
The bite in the World Cup was the third such incident Suarez has been involved in. In 2010, he bit PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal; three years later he did the same to Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.
According to Suarez, on each occasion he quickly understood the severity of his actions:
"Yes, it is like an impulse, like a reaction," Suarez said. "Almost as if you realize straight away."
Though he acknowledged his responsibility for the biting incidents, Suarez strongly denied that he was a racist, a label he has been saddled with after he was found guilty of and fined £40,000 for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra in 2011.
He admits he called Evra a "negro," but claims it is a common term in Uruguay. He maintains that his punishment was unfounded.
"I know I was wrong with the biting and diving but I was accused of racism without any proof," Suarez said. "There were lots of cameras, but no evidence. It hurts me the most that it was my word against theirs."
Barcelona faces Real Madrid in Madrid on Saturday at noon ET.