Giorgio Chiellini admitted that he was awed by Luis Suarez, who bite him during the final group stage match in World Cup 2014.
In Chiellini’s recently released biography, he wrote that Suarez didn’t do anything wrong and he did not hold grudge over what happened at the time.
“Malice is part of football, I wouldn’t call it illegitimate. To get past a rival you have to be smart.
“I admire his cunning. If he lost it, he’d become an ordinary forward.”
Chiellini tried to prove he was bitten by showing the teeth mark on his shoulder, but the referee waved off his claim.
“I marked Cavani for most of the match, another guy who is difficult to mark and who we didn’t hold back against,” he said.
“Suddenly I noticed that I had been bitten in the shoulder. It just happened, but that’s his strategy in hand-to-hand combat and, if I may say so, it’s mine too. He and I are alike, and I like to take on attackers like him.”
Suarez escaped punishment during the game, but he ended up banned for four months plus nine international games.
The match was goalless at the time of the incident but minutes after the incident, Uruguay snatched a 1-0 win through Diego Godin’s header which took them through to the round of 16 at Italy’s expense.