Luis Suarez is one of the best strikers in the world and arguably the most entertaining player to watch in the Premier League. However, for every beautiful pass or piece of silky skill, the Uruguayan serves up something from his uglier side to shock and outrage. Here are the top seven Suarez scandals for club and country.
1. The other ‘hand of God’
The 2010 World Cup in South Africa gave the African nations a great chance to showcase their talents on the international stage in front of their adoring native fans. Urged on by the vuvuzela and an inspired Asamoah Gyan, Ghana were the team who took the opportunity with both hands. In the quarter final against in-form Uruguay the stadium was about to erupt in the last minute of extra time when Dominic Adiyiah’s header had goalkeeper Muslera well beaten. However, Suarez parried the ball away with his hands earning a red card. Asamoah missed the consequent spot kick only for Suarez to dance around on the sidelines as his ploy had worked. Uruguay won the game on penalties. Suarez showed little remorse in the aftermath, even likening the handball to Diego Maradona’s famous ‘Hand of God’.
2. Suarez gets a bit ‘Tyson’ against PSV
When playing for Ajax, Suarez earned himself a seven match ban when footage showed him biting the ear/neck of Otman Bakkal. The game between Ajax and PSV was interrupted after Rasmus Lindgren was shown a red card sparking an argument in which Suarez was heavily involved. Unfortunately for Bakkal, he got more than a fly in his ear when Suarez leant in for what at first appeared to be a peck on the cheek but ended with the striker taking home a bit of ear in a doggy bag. Of course, Suarez was unrepentant for his actions and felt his ban was harsh.
3. The race-war
In October 2011, Suarez hit the headlines after Man United’s Patrice Evra’s claims that he had racially abused him multiple times during their clash with Liverpool. The FA’s ensuing legal investigation found Suarez guilty and resulted in an eight match ban and a £40,000 fine. Evra was also reprimanded for reacting inappropriately with equally objectionable language. More was to follow as Kenny Dalglish came out aggressively in support of his star, allowing the Liverpool players to wear ‘Support Suarez’ t-shirts on the 21st December ahead of their match against Wigan. When Liverpool clashed with United later that season, Suarez snubbed Evra’s offer of a pre-match handshake causing yet more controversy. Unconfirmed reports also suggested that Suarez may have spat at keeper David De Gea as the teams left the field, but let’s not get too accusatory.
4. Swearing at fans
Before the FA hearing found Suarez guilty of racism, his Jekyll and Hyde personality reared its ugly head again after a 1-0 defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage. The home fans chanted ‘cheat’ at Suarez after he had gone down for a penalty which referee Kevin Friend waved away. In response, they got a face full of middle finger as he trotted off the tunnel. Thankfully, Kenny Dalglish was quick to justify Suarez’s actions. After all, if someone calls you a cheat, swearing at them is probably the best thing to do.
5. January 2012 – handball and diving
2013 started with a couple of new Suarez-gates; the first of which being a handball goal against Conference outfit Mansfield Town. Liverpool sealed victory at Field Mill after a Suarez toe-poke ricocheted off the goalkeeper into his path. Suarez made sure he regained control of the ball by tapping it back into his own path with his hand and smashing the ball over the line. Under two weeks later, Suarez was at it again. Running into Stoke’s penalty area and taking a dive in the first minute of the game wasn’t enough. He went on to admit to the dive and claimed that in Uruguay players look to gain whatever advantage they can to win football matches.
6. Punching Jara
Matches between Uruguay and Chile are quite commonly nasty affairs. In Copa America 2011, Arturo Vidal was reprimanded in the clash between the two teams for chasing Suarez around and whispering abuse in his ear – he also acquired one of the nine 9 yellow cards handed out that day. Well in April 2013’s WC qualifier between the two teams, violence hadn’t been a feature until Luis tussled with Gonzalo Jara before a Uruguay corner. Obviously, Jara got a punch in the face for his troubles before heading the ball away and soldiering on. You would have thought defenders had learned not to get touch-tight to him by now…
7. Next on the menu – Branislav Invanovic
Unfortunately for Bran Invanovic, he hadn’t heeded the multiple warning shots of Suarez’s temperament. Suarez laid on the first goal with a delicious pass for Daniel Sturridge before gifting Chelsea the advantage with a handball in the penalty area a few minutes later. Eden Hazard tucked the spot-kick away. Suarez, desperate to atone for his error, flew into the area only to be arrested by Ivanovic – the ball broke out to the wing and the two appeared to tussle. Video replays later confirmed that actually Suarez’s famous fangs had found themselves flesh-deep inside Ivanovic’s arm for no apparent reason. Clearly the Serbian defender is a decent source of energy as inevitably Suarez went on to equalise in the last minute; quite literally a case of another one bites the dust.
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