Six-time Grand Slam winner Boris Becker has exclusively told GiveMeSport that he feels much sympathy for controversial Luis Suarez after his biting incident at the World Cup.
Uruguayan striker Suarez, who was once again disgraced following his third biting incident in his career, now leaves himself in a very uncomfortable situation and current club Liverpool's reputation at threat.
Becker, who is an avid football fan has expressed his empathy with Suarez and how the constant attention given to big stars, can affect their state of mind, after being in the spotlight himself many times.
“We are put in extreme situations. There’s pressure, there’s the whole world watching us but there are rules", Becker told GiveMeSport.
“We are role models, we misbehave sometimes and we get penalised.”
Sympathy and fame
Becker knows only too well about the pressures that accompany playing sport at elite level - something that can result in athletes doing things they would never consider in the cold light of day.
But, the 46-year-old adds, the players have to be prepared to face the consequences should this pressure encourage actions deemed inexcusable.
“I feel for him. He obviously didn’t mean it, he was out of his situation and he lost his mind. Yes, he did lose his mind, I lost mine many times, it happens," Becker continued.
"But rules are rules, the game is bigger than any individual player. There’s a price to pay when you’re on that stage. You get a lot of money, you become rich and famous and everything, so you have to behave.
“You have to make sure you don’t lose your marbles, unfortunately he’s lost his mind.”
Despite this, Becker explains that Suarez undoubtably stepped too far over the line and that FIFA's lengthy punishment was exactly what he deserved. However, there is still time for 27-year-old to save his career.
He added, “I think FIFA did the right thing. His [Suarez] behaviour was completely out of order.”
“At 27, there’s still enough time to turn around your life, there’s still enough time to learn from your mistakes.”
Catalan giants Barcelona are now looking ever nearer to signing Suarez from Liverpool, as talks of a £70 million move have already started to take place.
Becker highlights how he doesn't blame the La Liga club for attempting to bring Suarez to the Nou Camp, even though he won't be able to play until October but that he certainly needs help to stop himself from repeating his actions.
"I understand Barcelona. He’s one of the best strikers in the world at the moment.
“Someone needs to control him though, someone needs to make him understand that him being a father himself, with two beautiful children. I’m sure he regrets it today, I’m sure he’s saying 'what have I done?'.”
With arguably the two best players in the world already at their disposal, Becker thinks the introduction of the Uruguay man will strike extreme fear into teams.
He concluded: “They have Messi, they have Neymar. Imagine them having Suarez, my god.”