Barcelona striker Luis Suarez is adamant his biting days are behind him as he prepares to return from a four-month ban against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
The Uruguay star was banned by FIFA for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup in Brazil – the third time in his professional career he has bitten a fellow player.
The 27-year-old was also suspended for seven games for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax in 2010 and he was then handed a 10-game ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic while at Liverpool in 2013.
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But despite his chequered past, Suarez is confident he has received the help he needs to prevent him from doing it again.
"I believe I am on the right path now, dealing with the people who can help me, the right kind of people," he told Guardian Weekend.
"It is like an impulse, like a reaction. 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, or smashing someone’s nose across their face. What happened with Chiellini is seen as worse. I understand why biting is seen so badly."
With his suspension now over, the prolific Suarez will have the chance to get back to making headlines for the right reasons, starting with Saturday’s highly-anticipated showdown against Madrid.
Luis Enrique has said Suarez will play, but the new Barca boss has to decide whether he starts his marquee signing on the bench or goes with a three-pronged attack alongside Neymar and Lionel Messi, who between them have scored 13 goals in the last five games.
Enrique said: "Today I cannot play this game but you will have assurance he will play minutes. How many? I do not know.
"It’s an important occasion for him and he will have minutes."