Barca repeat Suarez praise amid transfer talk
Barcelona heaped more praise on Luis Suarez on Wednesday for apologising for biting a rival World Cup player, fuelling rumours of a possible signing.
But the Spanish club refused to comment on the rumours.
Despite the furore over the incident, Barcelona were earlier reportedly ready to sign the player from Liverpool on condition that he apologised for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini.
On cue, Suarez, the top scorer in England’s Premier League last season with 31 goals, did so in a Twitter message on Monday, admitting the bite for the first time and promising he would not do it again.
“Luis Suarez is a Liverpool player so I can’t speak about Suarez,” Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu told a news conference when asked about the player.
“I can talk about what he did. He made a mistake during a match and has apologised. That honours him because it is hard to admit mistakes,” he added.
First step to change
“But once you do it, is the first step to change. He is a player who has to recover and keep playing.”
His comments mirrored those made by Barcelona’s sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, who on Tuesday praised Suarez’s “humility” for making the apology.
“Suarez has had the character and the humility to acknowledge his mistake. That is important,” Zubizarreta told a news conference.
Suarez bit Chiellini on June 24 in Uruguay’s 1-0 win over Italy, which took the South Americans into the World Cup last 16 before they were knocked out by Colombia 2-0 on Sunday.