Where does Luis Suarez’s bite rank in World Cup’s most shocking moments?

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With the world still reacting to Luis Suarez’s bite on Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, it is worth putting this incredible moment into context and where it ranks in World Cup history.

It is right up there as one of the most notorious and controversial moments since the competition began in 1930.

[ RELATED: How long should Luis Suarez be banned after his THIRD bite? ]

[ RELATED: PHOTO – Suarez bites Chiellini ] 

[ RELATED: Chiellini reacts to being bitten ] 

[ RELATED: Suarez reaction on Twitter 

Here are three other incidents, on the pitch, at the World Cup which shocked the world. Suarez’s bite could and probably will eclipse.

Luis Suarez bites Giorgio Chiellini

In the 79th minute of Uruguay’s final Group D game vs. Italy, Luis Suarez approached Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini and bowed his head down into the Juventus defender. Chiellini then fell to the floor grabbing his shoulder, and remonstrated with the referee to look at the bite marks on his his body, presumably from Suarez. The fact that Suarez had already been banned twice for biting opponents in the past with his club teams make this story even more incredible. It has to be up there as one of the most shocking moments in World Cup history. If it’s not No. 1… it is very close.

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Zidane was sent off in the World Cup final for a headbutt. It was his last appearance.

Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal vs. England

Just a few years after England and Argentina had battled it out in the Falklands War, Maradona’s actions almost reignited a conflict between the two nations. A looping ball came into England’s penalty box in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal and the Argentina captain got to it just before Three Lions ‘keeper Peter Shilton and knocked the ball into the net. The only problem was… he punched the ball in with his hand. Maradona then had the audacity to run away and celebrate the goal as England’s players remonstrated with the referee. After the game the Argentina legend muttered those immortal words about the goal being “from the hand of God” and there you  have it, one of the most shocking moments in WC history.

Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt on Marco Materazzi

Up until now, this was probably number one on the most notorious moments. In the 2006 World Cup final, French superstar and veteran Zinedine Zidane was guiding France towards their second World Cup title after a tournament which saw the maestro roll back the years to win the Golden Ball and prove everyone wrong. Then, incredibly, he stood up against Italian defender Materazzi, headbutted in the chest and was sent off in the final. France lost on penalty kicks. Zidane retired. The world stood with their jaw dropped to the ground after one of the greatest every players went out in astonishing fashion. Later on, it was revealed that Materazzi aimed disrespectful comments at Zidane’s mother and the women of his family.

Andres Escobar shot dead after scoring own goal to eliminate Colombia

By far the most shocking incident off the field to a World Cup player, Escobar reportedly paid the ultimate price for scoring an own goal vs. the USA in the 1994 World Cup. Colombia were one of the favorites to challenge for the title but lost their opener to Romania and then Escobar’s sliced own goal from John Harkes’ cross sent the South Americans crashing out of the tournament. 10 days after his mistake, Escobar was shot 12 times in Medellin as his error had apparently cost local betting circles a fortune. His death was mourned in the nation as the shocking reality of how much soccer means to people was hit home by this brutal and atrocious killing.

Harald Schumacher decapitates Patrick Battiston in 1982

In the 1982 World Cup in Spain, German goalkeeper Schumacher did his best impression of a human scythe. The French team, which included the likes of Michel Platini, had played their way to the World Cup semis in Seville and after an hour they were locked at 1-1 vs. a very psychical German side. Platini then found some space to work some magic and played in Battiston who went clean through. Schumacher then clattered into Battiston and promptly broke vertebrae in the Frenchman’s back, who also lost two teeth. The referee didn’t even award a free kick and Schumacher went totally unpunished for the incident. Germany won the game on penalties (of course) and made it to to the final where they lost to Italy.

Luis Suarez handballs on the line, knocks Ghana out of World Cup

Yeah, that man again. At the last World Cup Suarez was involved in another highly controversial incident. With the 2010 tournament being in South Africa, the entire continent was behind Ghana as they had the hopes of millions on their shoulders to become the first-ever African team to make the World Cup semifinals by beating Uruguay in the last eight. In the final minute of the game a Ghanaian shot was going into the net, then Suarez popped up to punch the ball off the line. He was given a red card and Ghana was given a penalty kick… But Asamoah Gyan missed the PK, Suarez was seen celebrating as he walked to the locker room and Uruguay later won the game on penalty kicks to destroy the hopes of a continent. Suarez, not for the first or last time in his career, was public enemy number one.

Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez injured on international duty

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Atlanta United is sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings three weeks into its inaugural Major League Soccer season, and the bite appears to be every bit as fearsome as the bark for the newcomers.

Now, the club must contend with its first bit of truly scary news.

In-form striker Josef Martinez was injured on international duty with Venezuela and is heading back to the United States for evaluation. The report says he tweaked his left thigh, and after the match head coach Rafael Dudamel said he would release Martinez back to Atlanta, saying, “I do not think it’s good for Josef to travel. This muscle tightness can take 10 days of recovery.”

Martinez was subbed off of Venezuela’s match with Peru in the 59th minute, replaced by Yangel Herrera and walking off under his own power. Venezuela drew the match 2-2, blowing a 2-goal halftime lead and leaving them bottom of the table, 14 points back of the intercontinental playoff spot.

Obviously that 10-day recovery is more ideal than any other long-term prognosis, but it would still see him miss a road visit to Seattle next Friday. The 23-year-old has a whopping five games in his first three MLS games with Atlanta and has been a force. Brandon Vazquez and Bryan Rochez are the two options currently on Atlanta’s roster to replace the Venezuelan in the lineup.

Martinez was signed on loan from Serie A side Torino, but the move was made permanent last week.

Kevin de Bruyne questionable for injury-laden Belgium

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Belgium, already without superstar Eden Hazard for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Greece, will now be without playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, who picked up an injury in training on Friday and will miss both the match against Greece and the subsequent friendly against Russia three days later…maybe.

The Belgian National Team official Twitter account sent out a quote from manager Roberto Martinez that confirmed De Bruyne would miss the pair of matches, but the tweet was quickly deleted.

Instead, this one was pushed out in its place, correcting his availability and also updating the type of injury:

Should De Bruyne miss out, it means Belgium would likely rely heavily on Dries Mertens and Kevin Mirallas for the playmaking duties, with midfielder Radja Nainggolan potentially taking on a more attacking role as well.

Belgium and Martinez also confirmed that right-back Thomas Meunier will miss out after failing to recover from an ankle injury, while Marouane Fellaini‘s status is unknown after he was held out of Thursday’s training session.

The injury also leaves De Bruyne’s status for Manchester City up in the air, with a pair of massive games in London in quick succession after the injury break. City visits Arsenal next Sunday, followed by a hop over to Stanford Bridge on Wednesday.

Landon Donovan retires again, this time for good

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After coming out of retirement last fall to join the LA Galaxy for one more shot at an MLS Cup, Landon Donovan has once again called time on his career, saying he’s certain he will not play again.

With a number of other ventures on his plate, the USMNT all-time leading scorer is looking forward to spending his time elsewhere.

“Yeah, I’m done,” Donovan said. “I’m done. No more playing for me. I have not [gone public with it yet]. But that is definitely the case.”

Donovan scored one goal in nine games for the LA Galaxy in his comeback bid, with the club ravaged by injuries and still gunning for the Cup. However, after the season was over with a loss to Colorado in the Conference Semifinals, the Galaxy confirmed it was nothing more than a short-term stopgap.

“With Landon, when he came back, it was always going to be a short-term thing,”team president Chris Klein said to the L.A. Times in December. “He’s enjoying what he’s doing and we see we’re comfortable in the direction that we’re headed.”

In January, reports claimed Real Salt Lake had offered Donovan a Designated Player contract, but it appears he’s turned it down, and will now have time to concentrate on his other ventures. Off the field, Donovan is an analyst on Fox’s soccer coverage, is on the advisory committee for the Los Angeles 2024 Olympics bid, and has joined the ownership group attempting to bring an expansion MLS team to San Diego.

Former Spurs midfielder Paulinho scores thunderbolt for Brazil

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Brazil topped Uruguay 4-1 to move on the verge of World Cup qualification, but there was much more to the first half of this match than meets the eye.

Uruguay went ahead 1-0 on a 9th-minute penalty won and scored by Edinson Cavani, and for a moment it seemed like the home side might find its way to pull within a point of Brazil at the top of the CONMEBOL standings. That would not last very long.

[ MORE: Full roundup of CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying action ]

Just 10 minutes later, a bad giveaway near the midfield stripe saw Neymar casually feed Paulinho a good 50 yards from goal. The former Spurs man took matters into his own hands, charging forward and unleashing a vicious strike that continued to rise until it ripped the chords in the top-right corner.

 

Not only was the goal a sight to behold, it was an important moment in the match. Brazil was back level at 1-1, and Paulinho would be on his way to an eventual hat-trick with a pair in the second half. Neymar scored once as well to complete the 4-1 final scoreline, and the three points for Brazil saw them remain perfect in the World Cup qualifying round as they march seven clear of Uruguay at the top of the standings.

For Paulinho, the hat-trick brings him to four goals in the World Cup qualifying round, adding to his score in the 3-0 win over Argentina. They also mark an important moment for the Chinese Super League, where Paulinho now plays, having moved from Spurs in July of 2015. Some national team coaches have left players on the outside of the squad for moving to leagues such as the Chinese League or Major League Soccer, but Paulinho has clearly been an asset to Brazil despite his club situation. In fact, in China, Paulinho has scored four goals in his four league matches for Guangzhou Evergrande this season plus another in the Asian Champions League, leaving him in top goalscoring form coming into this international break, something which has clearly translated directly to international play.

The 28-year-old had lost his place in the national team squad in 2014, going over two years without a single international appearance, but has been a mainstay in the Brazilian side during this World Cup qualification cycle.