Barcelona striker Luis Suarez says he was misjudged on accusations of racially abusing Patrice Evra.
The 27-year-old, who joined Barca from Liverpool for £75m in July, was banned for eight games and fined £40,000 after being found guilty of racially abusing Evra, then a Manchester United player, in 2011.
In an extensive interview with Barcelona’s official website, Suarez said he remains “upset” about being accused of racially abusing Evra.
“When I say I’m sorry it’s because I regret something. Being sorry implies regret. But they have also sometimes judged me on things that aren’t true, such as the racism thing,” Suarez said.
“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.”
The Uruguayan has been sanctioned twice for biting an opponent during a football match following the Evra incident; recently being handed a four-month suspension for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at last summer’s World Cup.
Suarez said it was “hard to face the truth” following his actions during Uruguay’s 1-0 win over Italy in the group stage game in Brazil.
“It is good to accept that you have made a mistake and that’s what I did. 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,” he added.
“Those were days when I didn’t want to know about it. I just wanted to be with my wife and children, who supported me through that time. I didn’t want to listen to anybody, or speak to anybody. I didn’t want to accept it.”
Suarez apologized to Chiellini six days after the incident, saying the Juventus defender “suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me”.
Chiellini tweeted he accepted Suarez’s apology and, even expressed hope Fifa would reduce his ban.
Suarez was eventually granted reprieve following an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (Cas) and he has been training and playing in friendlies, scoring in Uruguay’s 3-0 win over Oman on Monday.
He is in line to make his first competitive appearance for Barca in a Spanish La Liga match at fierce rivals Real Madrid on Saturday, 25 October.
He is already relishing the prospect of making his competitive debut for the Catalans, especially as it comes in an El Clasico fixture.
He said: “When I have gone to the last few games that the team has played I’ve noticed how I’m getting more anxious to play and help them out.
“You know, I’m the kind of person who believes that things happen for a reason, and out of all 19 team in the league, it’s precisely against Real Madrid at the Bernabéu that I’ll make my comeback. There must be a reason.