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Luis Suarez's crimes against football

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Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 5:55 AM
Source: SportsFan
Author: Adam Jones

Luis Suarez logic: Bite your opponent then appeal for a free kick because you hurt your teeth

Photo Source: Getty Images

So Luis Suarez has done it again, sinking his teeth into an opponent's flesh with cameras trained and the whole world watching. Click here or to the right to see footage of Suarez chowing down on his latest victim, Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Last time around, the English FA charged him with violent conduct and suspended him for 10 matches. What does he deserve from FIFA this time – expulsion from the World Cup? A 20-game club ban? His teeth filed down to nubs?

While you contemplate that, here's a look back at the many crimes of Luis Suarez, flawed genius and man with an insatiable hunger.

Also, don't forget to watch Will McCloy's round-up of the best social media funnies making light of Suarez's latest indiscretion!

1. A villain is born in South Africa

Suarez first gained international notoriety at the 2010 World Cup. Uruguay's quarter-final against Ghana had moved into extra time with scores tied 1-1 when, in a goal-mouth scramble, Suarez stopped a certain goal by parrying Dominic Adiyiah's header with his hands. He was red-carded for the professional foul but Ghana's Asamoah Gyan smashed his penalty off the crossbar, and Uruguay went on to win 4-2 in a shootout. Suarez was branded a cheat after the match but defended himself, saying he had acted on instinct and would do anything to help his team win. He then added, unwisely, "I made the save of the tournament," which did nothing to endear him to non-Uruguayans.  

2. Once you pop, you can't stop

Suarez's penchant for biting was first documented back in November 2010, when he was plying his trade for Dutch side Ajax. During an Eredivisie match against PSV Eindhoven, midfielder Otman Bakkal made the mistake of mouthing off to Suarez during a break in play. Suarez responded, naturally, by having a nibble of Bakkal's collarbone. He was dubbed the 'Cannibal of Ajax' by De Telegraaf and banned for seven matches by the Dutch FA (who felt that Ajax's club-imposed three-match ban wasn't enough). We might be tempted to think that Suarez should have learned his lesson then and there, but that's the thing about human flesh: one taste is all it takes.

3. Taking his talent – and teeth – to England

Still serving his suspension, Suarez left Ajax for Liverpool and made his Premier League debut on February 2, 2011. The renowned misbehaver kept a low profile until October in the same year, when he was accused of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra. According to a 115-page report compiled by the English FA, Suarez called Evra a "negro" five times and told him "I don't speak to blacks". Liverpool lawyers claimed Evra was an unreliable witness prone to "play[ing] the race card" but were shot down, and Suarez was handed an eight-match ban and a £40,000 (AU$72,500) fine.

Then, in Liverpool's return leg at Old Trafford, Suarez refused to acknowledge Evra during the pre-match handshakes. Reds manager Kenny Dalglish, whose tone-deaf approach to the entire ordeal probably contributed to his eventual sacking, said afterwards: "It's bang out of order to blame Luis Suarez for anything that happened here today." The next day, Liverpool's owners forced Suarez and Dalglish to issue embarrassing formal apologies, and revealed that the player had gone back on a promise to shake Evra's hand.

4. Chowing down on Chelsea

Tensions between Suarez and the English press were still simmering when the Liverpool striker lost the plot against Chelsea in 2013. In a 2-2 draw at Anfield, Suarez vented his frustrations by unleashing a vicious attack on the unsuspecting Branislav Ivanovic. Turning away from the play, Suarez gripped Ivanovic's left arm in both hands and sunk his teeth into muscle, biting down so hard the Blues defender fell to the ground in shock. Though Suarez apologised, the FA criticised him for not appreciating the seriousness of the incident and for being a poor role model. He was fined an undisclosed sum and handed one of the longest bans in Premier League history; deservedly, we might add:

5. And when he's not biting...

...He's diving. In his time at Liverpool, Suarez has developed a reputation as one of the least-balanced individuals in England. Time and again he drops to the ground and writhes in agony after the slightest contact, convinced he'll never play another game of football again in his life. And then he's on his feet again, right as rain. He's done it against Stoke. He's done it against Norwich. Jose Mourinho called this one an "acrobatic swimming pool jump". He's done it at international level too. And when David Moyes criticised him, he scored against Everton and celebrated by diving right in front of the gaffer.

6. Suarez and the ref story

We'd be remiss if we finished this article without including a link to ESPN's wonderful investigative piece on the apocryphal story of a 15-year-old Suarez headbutting a referee in Uruguay. According to legend, the referee was later assassinated by the mob for not rescinding a red card that forced Suarez to miss a championship game. We won't spoil the reveal for you, except to say that the legend is closer to truth than you might suspect.

Got a grievance to air with the diving, biting lunatic Luis Suarez? Share it in the comments below.

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The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of SportsFan.

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