Montevideo, March 18 (IANS) Forward Luis Suarez has admitted he will need to control his emotions when he returns to Uruguay’s football team for the first time in almost two years later this month.
The Barcelona forward has been sidelined from the international scene since being given a nine-game ban for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, reports Xinhua.
He will make his return in Uruguay’s World Cup qualifier against Brazil in Recife on March 25 and will again wear the Celeste shirt against Peru here four days later.
“It’s normal that there are big expectations given that I’m coming back after so long,” Suarez said in an interview with Uruguayan portal Referi on Thursday.
“It’s important to control your emotions. The anxiety to return to play can be physically draining without you even realising. It’s important to be able to manage that. But I’m human and I also realize that these are beautiful moments that I will remember forever.”
Suarez, who was also banned from all football-related activities for four months after the incident in Natal, said he “suffered” as a result of the ban.
“The first few months were difficult,” the 29-year-old said. “I suffered, not only professionally, but on a personal level. Then I returned to training and playing and began to enjoy my football again. Now the chapter ends with my return to the national team.
“After so long it’s obvious that I’m really excited, but I’m also conscious that, thankfully, the worst is now in the past. Now I can enjoy playing with the national team, which is something I’ve been wanting for a long time.”
The former Ajax and Liverpool star has been in electric form for Catalan giants Barcelona this season, scoring 43 goals from 42 matches across all competitions.
He attributed his prolific form to a sharpness that only comes with regular matches and a sense of inner peace, both on and off the pitch.
“What every player wants is to play as much as possible, to have rhythm and physical fitness,” Suarez said.
“That’s what I’m managing to do. I also take care of myself on a personal level which is more than important. I live a peaceful life with my wife and kids and psychologically you have to have that that peace and appreciate every moment.”