See what I did there? It’s funny because Luis Suarez bit someone. Again. It’s also funny because it is a play on the idiom ‘once bitten, twice shy’ which means that when something bad happens you will be more careful next time. Which he wasn’t.
Suarez is a supremely gifted footballer. His close control, flair on the ball, constant nutmegs, goal-scoring prowess and eagerness to win the ball is something that every football fan can admire. No one can doubt his ability. But he is human and he makes mistakes…over and over again. But in order for us to fully grasp the idiocy of this whole situation, let’s backtrack, shall we?
At the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Suarez and Uruguay were having a great tournament until they met Ghana in the quarter finals. After ninety minutes it was 1-1, and then extra time came along. Ghana would have gone through to meet Netherlands in the semi-finals had Adiyiah’s goal-bound header not been punched off the line by Suarez.
Suarez got a red card and Ghana was awarded with a penalty which Asamoah Gyan did not convert, and Uruguay went through, following a penalty shootout. Handball controversy: Check.
While playing for Ajax Amsterdam against PSV Eindhoven, Suarez’s raw animalistic tendencies came out and he bit Dutch defender Otman Bakkal on the shoulder. The literal Hunger Games had begun and apparently Suarez has quite an appetite, but biting people is kind of, you know, bad and stuff. Cannibal controversy: Check.
Banned for seven league games, Suarez soon moved to Liverpool Football Club and even though he has only been at Anfield for just over two years, he has had more than his fair share of controversy: the infamous racism saga with Manchester United defender Patrice Evra which saw him banned for eight games and then that whole handshake ordeal, numerous diving allegations, clashes with opposition and even more handballs.
Side-note: With all the diving and handballs he really could be a decent goalkeeper – just putting that out there.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
To be fair, it seemed as if Luis Suarez had turned a corner. No pun intended. Short-listed for Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) player of the year and leading goal scorer in the Barclays Premier League, Suarez was noted for all the positive aspects of his game.
On the 21st April 2013, Chelsea came to Anfield in a league game that was noted for Rafa Benitez’s return to the home of his former employers but it soon became all about Suarez. An Oscar header from a corner gave Chelsea the lead at half-time, but following the interval Liverpool introduced former Chelsea player Daniel Sturridge and everything changed.
A flowing move saw Suarez cross the ball for Sturridge who scored the equaliser. That was good. Shortly after, Suarez deliberately handled the ball in the box to prevent Torres from getting his head to the ball and he gave away a penalty which Eden Hazard converted. Chelsea were back in front and Suarez was to blame. That was bad.
It was a tightly-contested affair and even though Chelsea were leading, both teams were in the game. But then Luis Suarez reverted to old ways, triggering his werewolf gene and opting for some Serbian meat in the form of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic. That was ugly/disgusting/vile/despicable etc.
No one wants to see that in the modern game. Cannibalism, much like racism, should be kicked out of football. Suarez was not booked because the incident was not spotted by any of the officials so you can say he “got away with it” at the time.
Still, this modern game of ours has cameras, instant replays, and officials who watch said replays to punish players retrospectively, so what on earth was Luis Suarez thinking? Old habits die hard. And in a classic twist, the sixth minute of stoppage time saw Liverpool equalise to end the game at 2-2. Guess who scored?
So what now?
Much has been said about the future of Luis Suarez and whether he will still be a Liverpool player after the season ends. Suarez has been immense for the Reds this season and the word is that Liverpool’s failure to reach the UEFA Champion’s League group stages might just mean Suarez will move on to a club that can match his ambitions.
For the moment everyone wants to know if he has actually played his last game for the Merseyside club. Surely he will be punished for his actions during the Chelsea game and if he receives a lengthy ban he might not play for Liverpool again this season.
In my humble and slightly biased opinion, Luis Suarez is a quality player who has rescued my beloved team many times this season. But with his actions against Chelsea I can’t help but think this will signal the end of his time at Anfield, much like it did in Amsterdam.
His reputation in England is tarnished once again and he is sought after by many top European sides such as Bayern Munich and Juventus so he might just bite the bullet (pun very much intended) and leave Liverpool in the off-season. I feel he is genuinely sorry about biting Ivanovic and he does lose his head a lot but he really should think before he does anything, especially gnawing at a professional footballer’s arm for the world to see over and over again.
The internet is not going away and neither will footage of the incident. If he does end up leaving I will definitely miss his flair, goals and even his controversy. So let’s chew on that and see what happens. Sorry, that was definitely the last one.
About the author: Dean is a co-founding member of BTG Lifestyle, and an aspiring screenwriter and filmmaker who is also an avid football fan and supporter of Liverpool FC.