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 Posted by PA Sport
Jul 15, 2014

Blatter eager to see Suarez return

Luis Suarez becomes the third straight winner of the PFA Player of the Year award to move away from his club the summer after winning the prize.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter hopes to see Luis Suarez back in action soon as the controversial striker's move from Liverpool to Barcelona nears completion.

- Hunter: Suarez has questions to answer
- Ledwith: Assessing the risk of signing Suarez

Suarez was sent home early in shame after biting Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay's group stage win over Italy, and FIFA's disciplinary committee subsequently banned him from "all football-related activity" for four months.

That sanction -- which also sees him suspended from the next nine international matches -- means he will not be able to make his debut for Barca until Oct. 25, and will not even be allowed to be publicly unveiled once he finally signs a five-year contract at the Camp Nou this week.

There was outcry in Uruguay at the ban, but Blatter said the record punishment was completely out of his hands. The leader of world football's governing body said he was sorry to lose Suarez early from the tournament, and he hopes the 27-year-old will be ready and determined to represent his country again soon.

LUIS SUAREZ 2013-14 SEASON IN NUMBERS

31 - Premier League goals, winning the Golden Boot.
12 - Most assists in the Premier League.
24 - Scored the most goals from inside the box.
 4 - Scored the most goals from counterattacks.
•  9 - Had the most shots that hit the woodwork.
•  3 - Most penalties won in the Premier League.
• 237 - Attempted more dribbles than any other player.

"As a footballer I feel with him that such a punishment... it hurts, it hurts," Blatter said at his final news conference in Rio.

"But as FIFA president I have to accept the decisions that are taken by our independent committees.

"I do hope that this player will come back to football because on the pitch what he has shown so far... I have seen his capacity technically and tactically to do what he can do -- his smelling of the goal...

"I do hope he will be back, he is now in one of the greatest clubs in the world."

Prior to the World Cup there were serious fears about security, transport and stadia, but Blatter thinks Brazil 2014 passed the test with flying colours.

The Swiss rejected an invitation to describe the tournament as the best in its 84-year history, but he did give Brazil a glowing report -- even though it was delivered in a bizarre fashion.

"We were calculating last night using all the computers and "Facebooks" and all that, and then out of 10 we came 9.5," Blatter said. "Brazil has improved since South Africa (whom he rated as nine out of 10).

"Those who get a clear 10 at universities have deals with the professor."

On the whole, Blatter's final address was an upbeat one. The Swiss brushed off the fact that he was booed at several grounds around the country.

"If you are in this business you have to live with that," he said.

But Blatter did snap at one female reporter when it was put to him that FIFA was corrupt.

"Listen lady, when you speak about corruption then you have to present evidence," he said.

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