Luis Suarez draws strength from his family but worries about explaining biting antics to his children
The Liverpool and Uruguay star credits his family with getting him through the dark days following the Ivanovic incident last year
Luis Suarez has admitted he is ‘ashamed’ and fearful of the effect his biting antics will have on his children.
But the Liverpool and Uruguay striker, who faces England in Sao Paulo in World Cup Group D on Thursday, insists that his wife helped him get through his darkest days by ordering never to bring his work home with him.
Suarez revealed his wife, former childhood sweetheart Sofia, demanded he must forget his frustrations as soon as he walks through his front door – and never become too big-headed when he is successful.
Yet, England’s Footballer of the Year confesses that he regrets his bite on Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in 2013 – which came after a similar incident during his time at Ajax – chiefly because he dreads his three-year-old daughter and his baby son finding out about it.
He said: “The mistakes I have made in my life… biting an opponent twice, I am so ashamed about that. Only later I realised my kids are going to see those pictures one day.
“That thought almost hurts me more than the actual deed. The fact, as well, that I will have to explain one day to my kids that it was me, their father.
“That has kept me awake at night many times. I should be the example in their life. My family gives me strength. With everything I do, my wife Sofia and the kids are constantly on my mind.
“All the problems I have had, I have overcome here in England by thinking of them. For the kids, I want to be a good person. I want to be a father they can be proud of.’’
And Suarez insists that his missus has laid down the law to ensure that he does not sulk or act like a star during his family life.
He said: “Sofia has been the most influential person in my football career. That started early, as I got to know her when I was going through a very difficult stage in Uruguay.
“In England, she has also been a massive influence again. Whenever I am travelling with Liverpool or with the national team, she is at home with the kids. She takes care of everything. At home, I can forget what happens on the football pitch.
“But she has made one thing clear after all the things that happened to me. She said to me, ‘You have to do your job. But here, at home, you are a husband and a father. Don’t you confront us or bother us with your irritations about what happened on the pitch. Don’t you dare bring home what happens on the pitch!’
“At home, I am not allowed to be the footballer Luis Suarez. Only the husband and the father.
‘’Sometimes, Sofia tells me I am behaving like a star, saying, ‘Luis, when you have scored two or three goals, you are with your head up in the air. You can’t get through the door with your head. That is OK in the stadium, but the moment you arrive at home I want you with your feet on the ground!’” Suarez blames a lot of his troubles on a difficult childhood and a poor upbringing.
He said: “As a child, I have suffered a lot. Not many people know what a tough upbringing I had. As a family, we were skint. In my youth, we had no shoes.
“All we were doing when I was young was trying to survive, like many people where we lived in Uruguay.
“I had a lot of brothers and sisters. There was never enough money to give shoes to every kid. So, one of the first priorities in my life was to make sure I was going to get a pair of shoes. Once I had one pair, I’d try to get another pair. Even if that meant I had to work incredibly hard.’’
Suarez, speaking in Dutch magazine Helden, is proud of his Premier League re-birth, after suffering lengthy bans for racially abusing Patrice Evra and biting Ivanovic.
He said: “I am proud of my mental strength. I have a strong character. That same character has also brought me into a lot of trouble. So, it is a very mixed emotion I have.
“In England, I have gone through a lot, but, no matter how low I have been, I did climb back up. I don’t think many players would have made it after what I have gone through.
“I’m proud that I’m still a Liverpool player, that I’m still the husband of Sofia and the father of my kids, and that I’m still an international player of Uruguay, representing my country in the World Cup. The idea that I have overcome all my difficulties has made me happy.’’