Suarez a 'noble man', says new Barcelona signing Rakitic

Amid rumours the Liverpool striker could be edging towards a move to Camp Nou, the Catalan's new signing has praised him following his public apology for biting Giorgio Chiellini
Ivan Rakitic has praised Luis Suarez's nobility after the disgraced Uruguay and Liverpool star apologised for biting Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.

The forward has been barred from all football-related activity for four months, banned for nine competitive international matches and hit with an €80,000 (£64,000) fine.

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Suarez had previously denied biting the defender, instead insisting his face "hit against the player, leaving a small bruise ... and a strong pain in my teeth" but posted an apology on his official Twitter page on Monday.

The 27-year-old has long been linked with a move to either Barcelona or Real Madrid, and Rakitic, at his official unveiling as a Barca player, lauded the Uruguayan's character.

"To have the character and strength to apologise in front of the world shows what a noble person he is," he said.

"Not every person has that strength to admit they have done something stupid. I rarely say that I am wrong so this says a lot about him, he has shown the character and strength he has so he should be commended for that.

"Regardless of whether the club signs him or not, his quality is unquestionable. He has shown a lot of quality with Uruguay and scored more than 30 goals [last season] with Liverpool, so he has the necessary quality to play for Barca."

Suarez was previously banned for seven matches in 2010 for biting PSV's Otman Bakkal during his time at Ajax before being suspended for a further 10 games after biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic while playing for Liverpool.

Chiellini himself described the ban as "excessive" while the Uruguayan FA has informed Fifa that it will appeal against the ban, though it remains to be seen if Suarez's apology will change their stance.