Next Game

Celta Vigo v Barcelona

Sunday, 05 April 2015, 20:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Camp Nou

Last Game

Barcelona 2 - 1 R Madrid

Sunday, 22 March 2015, 20:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Iniesta hails Suarez quality

BarceIona midfielder Andres Iniesta has hailed Luis Suarez as 'one of the best strikers in the world' and hopes his ban is reduced.

Last Updated: 25/07/14 at 14:00 Post Comment

Andres Iniesta (c): Pleased Xavi is staying at Barcelona

Andres Iniesta (c): Pleased Xavi is staying at Barcelona

Suarez, a £75million signing from Liverpool, was handed a four-month ban by FIFA for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup match, which prevents him from making his debut for Barcelona until October 26 when the Catalans play arch rivals Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

The 27-year-old striker saw an appeal to FIFA rejected and has gone to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in a final bid to see his ban, which his lawyer Alejandro Balbi has branded as "blatantly draconian, totalitarian and fascist", reduced.

CAS has accepted Suarez's appeal and is in the process of studying it, with a decision expected in mid-August.

Speaking at a press conference, Iniesta was careful about commenting on the fairness of the ban, but said he wished Suarez could play for Barcelona as soon as possible.

"It's a thorny issue because you don't know whether speaking about it will go against or favour him so I'm going to decline to comment on it," said Iniesta.

"Suarez is a tremendous signing for us because of his quality, but the other thing (the ban) is something for the club, the courts and FIFA to deal with. We hope that can be resolved and that the ban is reduced as much as possible."

Speaking purely about the Uruguayan's qualities on the pitch, Iniesta added: "Right now he's one of the best strikers in the world and he will bring to us that ambition he has to score goals, his willingness to work hard, that mobility that characterises him. It's fundamental for a midfielder to have a player with those characteristics in the team."

Iniesta also said that learning that long-running Barca team-mate Xavi Hernandez is set to stay at the club for another season was "one of the best pieces of news of the summer".

"He's another one of us and we are delighted about that, because he's spent all his life here and means so much to the club. It would have been strange if he had left."

And the midfielder insisted he was not concerned about Lionel Messi's form, despite the Argentine failing to meet expectations at the World Cup, even though he was named player of the tournament.

"I've never doubted Leo, because of everything he represents and the way he plays, but it's difficult to maintain the level we have come to expect from him for so many seasons," he said.

"He's vital for us and I hope that this year he will return to his usual best."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Footer 365

'Fine' Akinfeev grateful for support

Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev has thanked well-wishers for their support after being struck by a lit flare thrown from the crowd against Montenegro on Friday night.

Harry Kane says debut England goal is a 'dream come true'

Harry Kane said his first goal for England was "a dream come true" after he scored 79 seconds into his debut appearance.

Roy Hodgson hails Harry Kane's impact after goal on England debut

Roy Hodgson led the plaudits for Harry Kane after his ‘fairytale’ international debut in England's win over Lithuania.

Mail Box

Where's The Love For Walcott?

Theo Walcott is wanted by neither Arsenal or Liverpool fans in the afternoon Mailbox. Also, some good points on the FA skewed priorities, and glorious geekery...

Ripe Robin Still Has A Role To Play...

There is some support for the aging Robin van Perise in a frankly threadbare Mailbox. Also, more debate over homegrown players, with a suggestion of an import tax...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company