(AFP) – Former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez’s four-month ban for biting an opponent at the World Cup is “excessive”, his new Barcelona team-mate Pedro Rodriguez declared on Wednesday.
Suarez was banned from all football-related activity for four months after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder during a World Cup group game in the Brazilian city of Natal last month.
He subsequently left Liverpool for Barcelona in a £75 million ($127 million, 95 million euros) deal and Pedro is unhappy that he will have to wait until late October before he can play alongside the Uruguayan.
“I think the punishment by FIFA is excessive,” the Spanish forward told reporters during Barcelona’s week-long training camp at St George’s Park in central England.
“But we have to leave that to one side. He’ll be very welcome in Barcelona and the supporters will be behind him as soon as he starts playing and is giving his best for the team. I’m sure he will do well with Barca.”
Pedro also lamented Barcelona’s decision to sell his international colleague Cesc Fabregas to Chelsea.
“Everybody knows Cesc is a great player, one of the best in his position in the world,” Pedro said.
“It’s a shame for my position because obviously where I play, as a striker, he is a guy who can provide you with very good passes. As a friend, we’ve got a very good relationship and I’m going to miss him a lot.
“In terms of Chelsea being Champions League rivals of ours, they’ve built a very good team and with Cesc as well, they’re going to be very difficult to beat.”