Luis Suarez scored a brace in his first game back with the Uruguayan national team – a friendly against Oman – because of course he did.
After the match, the media asked him to get reflective of his career in England now that some time has passed, and he obliged.
He said of the mistakes he made while playing for Liverpool, he’s moved on from every one except one – he feels wrongly accused of being a racist during his spat with Patrice Evra.
Suarez was suspended for eight matches during the 2011/12 season for “abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour contrary to FA rules” and making “a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Patrice Evra.”
The Uruguayan maintained his innocence at the time – of which Liverpool fully supported – and he continues to be upset by the claims now.
“When I say I’m sorry it’s because I regret something,” Suarez said. “Being sorry implies regret. But they have also sometimes judged me on things that aren’t true, such as the racism thing. 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.”
Of all his other accusations and mistakes, he fully admitted wrongdoing, and said he was glad to have some time off to think about what he’d done and reflect on his position in the game.
“It is good to accept that you have made a mistake and that’s what I did,” Suarez said. “I left it a few days [over the summer] 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. 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.”
But he wasn’t done, and did add something Liverpool fans might not appreciate, although it’s not a hard argument to back up.
Suarez told reporters that the Reds likely wouldn’t have challenged for the title like they did without him on the team.
“I appreciate all the work the team did. But I missed six matches and scored all those goals in the Premier League without being the penalty-taker,” Suarez said to Barcelona’s official website. “I really could leave happy because if I hadn’t had the attitude and mentality to lead the team, I don’t think Liverpool would have done as well as they did.”
With Daniel Sturridge firing on all cylinders as well, the club did quite well in the Uruguayan’s absence, but this season they have struggled mightily – although their difficulties lie much more with the defense than in front of goal.