Xavi: Barcelona hoping Suarez suspension is reduced

The Uruguay international is banned until the end of October because of his bite on Giorgio Chiellini at this summer's World Cup
Xavi has admitted that he and his Barcelona team-mates are hoping that Luis Suarez's suspension is reduced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The Uruguay international was hit with a four-month ban from all football-related activity for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during this summer's World Cup.

Suarez is challenging the severity of the suspension and Xavi would love to see Barcelona's star summer signing cleared to return to action before the end of October.

"Luis is among the best strikers and players in the world," the midfielder told reporters on Tuesday.

"He had a spectacular season with Liverpool and is a great signing.

"I have a good relationship with him. He is a great person and we welcome him with open arms.

"Hopefully, CAS will help to reduce the suspension as much as possible."

Xavi was speaking at a press conference called to announce his retirement from international football.

The Spain international was quizzed on a number of issues, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who endured a turbulent 2009-10 season at Barcelona.

The Paris Saint-Germain striker has often spoken negatively of his former Camp Nou colleagues but Xavi says he has never had a problem with the enigmatic Swede.

"I maintain a great relationship with him," he told reporters on.

"He is a great person who left his mark, although it was only one year and had a very good season."