Sepp Blatter is looking forward to the return of Luis Suarez, just 18 days into the Uruguay striker’s global ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini.
The FIFA president spoke of his appreciation for what the 27-year-old can do on the pitch, while empathising over the severity of his punishment.
Suarez was banned from all football-related activity for four months after sinking his teeth into the shoulder of the Italy defender during their FIFA World Cup group match in Natal.
Suarez has since agreed a move from Liverpool to Barcelona and Blatter believes he will come back at a high level despite not being able to have any involvement in the game until late October.
“As a footballer I feel with him that such a punishment… it hurts, it hurts,” Blatter said at his final press conference in Rio.
“But as FIFA president I have to accept the decisions that are taken by our independent committees.
“I do hope that this player will come back to football because on the pitch what he has shown so far… I have seen his capacity technically and tactically to do what he can do – his smelling of the goal…
“I do hope he will be back, He is now in one of the greatest clubs in the world.”
Barcelona hope to have the Uruguay international available for selection sooner than originally thought after his case was taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.