GIORGIO CHIELLINI admitted he still admires Luiz Suarez despite being bit by the striker at the 2014 World Cup.
The former Liverpool forward infamously took a chunk out of the Italian defender in an off-the-ball incident.
It was missed by the match officials, but Fifa slapped Suarez with a four-month ban from all footballing activity.
The Uruguay international had previously been punished for biting Otman Bakkal in 2010 and Branislav Ivanonic in 2013.
But Juventus star Chiellini admitted he does not hold a grudge – and even claimed the pair have the smae mentality on the pitch.
In his autobiography, he wrote: “The truth is, I admire his mischief, because if Suarez were to lose that, he would become an average player.
“Nothing strange happened that day in the 2014 World Cup.
“I marked Edinson Cavani for most of the game, another complicated guy to keep up with, and we held nothing back.
“Suddenly, I realised I’d been bitten on the shoulder.
“It happened, that’s all there is to it, but that is his strategy when fighting with body-to-body contact and, if I may say, it’s mine too.
“Suarez and I are similar and I like facing strikers like him.
“I called him a couple of days after the game, but he had no need to apologise to me.
“I too am a son of b**** on the field and proud of it.
“Mischief and a little bit of malice are part of the game, I wouldn’t call that cheating.
“You need to be intelligent to overcome your rival.”