Suarez is 'not fat' - Enrique

Luis Suarez (AFP)
Luis Suarez (AFP)

Madrid - Barcelona coach Luis Enrique insisted on Friday that Luis Suarez is not fat as the controversial Uruguayan striker prepares to make his return to competitive action.

After his ban for biting an opponent at the World Cup, Suarez should make his Barcelona debut against bitter rivals Real Madrid on October 25 and Enrique rejected comments made by some media about Suarez's fitness.

"It's difficult to evaluate if he's at 70, 80, 90 or 100 percent but what is sure is he feels much better in training," said Enrique.

"He's been in a certain dynamic for a while and the fact that he has been able to play for his country has allowed him to rediscover the daily life of a footballer.

"We see him training every day, he's a player like any other and what's clear is that he's not fat.

"He never has been, despite everything that's been said. He's been in shape for several months so everything is fine."

Suarez moved from Liverpool to Barcelona for 95 million euros in the wake of the storm of controversy after he bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup and was banned for four months. Suarez was banned for nine internationals.

Although Suarez has played in friendly matches for both club and country during his ban, scoring twice against Oman on Monday, he has not been allowed to appear in official fixtures.

Barcelona lead La Liga after seven matches and host minnows Eibar on Saturday.

Suarez said this week, as he received the Golden Boot award for Europe's top score  which he shared with Cristiano Ronaldo - that starting with Barcelona was "a dream come true."

Asked if he was 100 percent ready for the Real match, he said: "If you had asked me that a week ago, before the two games with Uruguay, I may have had doubts.

"But I have played in those two (friendly) games and I am probably in better condition than I thought I was. So I think I can say now, yes, 100 percent, I am ready to play."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
41% - 12327 votes
Cricket
12% - 3686 votes
Football
19% - 5595 votes
Athletics
3% - 778 votes
Boxing
1% - 297 votes
Cycling
2% - 703 votes
Golf
5% - 1539 votes
Motorsport
8% - 2525 votes
Tennis
3% - 1047 votes
Water sports
1% - 272 votes
American sports
1% - 385 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 1007 votes
Vote