Barcelona forward Luis Suarez wasn’t always relishing spectacular form as a starter for arguably the world’s best team.
Suarez featured for his country at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and many know what happened there, as he was given a four-month ban from all soccer-related activity for his third biting offense. Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini was the victim.
But though the CAF’s actions were fair in giving the former Liverpool star a chance to maintain fitness in the months leading up to his debut, Suarez, who took a proper measure to address his on-field aggression, has criticized FIFA’s handling of the situation.
The 28-year-old thinks the suspension was too restrictive, noting that he technically couldn’t walk onto any soccer field.
“A ban is one thing, but I could not even train,” he said. “At the start, I was being treated worse than if I were a hooligan.
“On holidays, I was afraid to go and see my nephews playing for a youth team in Uruguay. The ban said I could not even step onto a football pitch — something I still do not understand today.”
Suarez has scored nine goals in the past 11 matches for Barcelona, and it’s no secret why squads respect his rare blend of finishing and technical skill. His biggest problem has been his attitude on the pitch, and though he disregarded the well-being of his opponents in the past, Suarez pledged he won’t bite again, and as of now, all signs point to a successful La Liga run for the Uruguayan.
VIDEO: Watch Luis Suarez score first Uruguay goals (including deft chip) since biting ban
Barcelona’s $128 million summer signing has been playing in friendlies for the Spanish club since his ban was reduced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) back in August and Suarez will be able to play for Barca competitively from Oct. 24 onwards.
Due to his ban, Suarez is currently restricted to play in only friendly matches and made his first appearance for Uruguay since the World Cup against Saudi Arabia on Friday before netting twice in their win against Oman.
Watch the video above to see a deft finish from Suarez for his first and then a cheeky chip over the ‘keeper for his second. He’s still got it…
Luis Suarez’s biting problems aren’t anything new, but they were thrust onto the national stage at the World Cup in June, when Barcelona’s recent acquisition and Uruguay international was caught biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder.
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee then followed up the incident by inflicting upon Suarez a four-month ban from all football related activity, including not being able to enter a stadium and an inability to play in nine international matches
But Suarez’s lawyer, Daniel Cravo, is sure that his client’s lengthy sentence will be decreased, although his attempt to accomplish this task with the Court of Arbitration of Sport (world football’s governing body) failed last month.
This Friday, Cravo will try once more to put Suarez’s biting and on-field issues into perspective. While he hopes to get the former Liverpool standout back onto the field as soon as possible, Cravo believes that FIFA doesn’t have a great deal of backing for this long ban, if one was to observe incidents that took place at the World Cup in years past.
“I think FIFA wanted to show they could take action,” he said, per Radio Globo. “There was dissatisfaction with how other incidents had been treated at the World Cup and Suarez paid for them. Not even the sanction of [Zinedine] Zidane in 2006 or those of Leonardo and [Mauro] Tassotti in 1994 were as severe.
“Is the Suarez incident the worst in the history of the World Cup?
“I believe that the sanction which affects his work at a club level will be revoked. There is no precedent in history to justify it.
“I am going to try and reduce his ban with Uruguay — nine games is too much and would stop him from playing until 2016.
“[The CAS] is totally different and on various occasions in the past they have taken completely different decisions to those which have been taken by FIFA.”
The court may draw upon the Suarez’s two other biting occurrences, both taking place in club competition. In 2010 playing for Ajax, Suarez bit PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal on the shoulder, and in 2013, Suarez was given a 10-game suspension for biting Chelsea man Branislov Ivanovic.
Colombia make first-ever World Cup quarterfinal, dump Uruguay out
Colombia have reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the first-time in their history after comfortably beating Uruguay 2-0 at the Maracana Stadium on Saturday.
The team of the tournament so far set up a mouth-watering tie with hosts Brazil in Fortaleza on Friday July 4 at 4 p.m. ET, after James Rodriguez stole the headlines once again for Jose Peckerman’s men.
Rodriguez, 22, scored a stunning volley just before the half mark to give Los Cafeteros the lead, then the AS Monaco striker bagged another just after the break to seal the win. Rodriguez is now the top scorer at the 2014 World Cup, with five goals in four games. He is also the leading World Cup scorer in Colombian history, as Rodriguez’s excellence dispatched a lackluster Uruguayan side who badly missed Luis Suarez.
La Celeste struggled to create chances throughout and with their star man banned for the rest of the tournament, Oscar Tabarez’s side looked disjointed and unable to break down a confident Colombia.
Cheered on by thousands of fans in Rio de Janeiro, Colombia now face the partisan home crowd in an all-South America tie vs. Brazil for a spot in the semifinals.
Plenty of tough tackles flew in early on as these two nations aimed to stamp their mark on proceedings. A long-range free kick from Cuadrado was deflected over the bar by his own player as Colombia began to get on the ball and pin Uruguay back.
Juan Zuniga made several pacey surges forward at the center of Uruguay’s defense and in the 11th minute he smashed a shot at goal which Muslera gathered at the second attempt. As the first half wore on, Colombia looked the more likely to go ahead as Uruguay sat back, soaked up the pressure and tried to play it into Edinson Cavani with hopeful long balls.
All of that early pressure finally paid off in the 28th minute as Abel Aguilar nodded the ball toward Rodriguez 25-yards out and the Colombian hot-shot chested the ball before volleying an unstoppable effort onto the underside of the crossbar and into the net. It was one of , if not the best, goals of the World Cup so far, as Colombia went into the break ahead.
Less than five minutes into the second half it was 2-0 to Los Cafeteros, and Rodriguez bagged his second of the game and fifth of the tournament after a wonderful team move. A cross from the left by Pablo Armero found Juan Cuadrado at the back post and he nodded the ball down for Rodriguez to sweep home and put Colombia firmly in the driving seat.
Uruguay then brought on attacker Christian Stuani and Gaston Ramirez to try and get back into the game, but Colombia looked comfortable in possession and eager to score more on the counter. Cristian Rodriguez did have a good effort for La Celeste as his well-struck effort from 20-yards out was palmed away by David Ospina as Uruguay piled forward. In the 70th minute Cavani whipped in a delicious ball to the back stick and substitute Stuani just missed the ball as he crashed towards the goal. Cavani then had an effort tipped wide in the 84th minute
To their credit Uruguay kept plugging away, but failed to break down a stubborn Colombian defense as Los Cafeteros made it to the last eight of the World Cup for the first-time in their nations history.
James Rodriguez is the difference between both teams at the half, as his stunning volley has given Colombia a 1-0 lead.
Los Cafeteros have dominated the opening 45 minutes, as Uruguay look lackluster going forward without the banned Luis Suarez in attack.
Rodriguez struck in the 27th minute, as he collected a header by controlling it on his chest, then volleyed the ball towards the top corner as Muslera got his fingertips to it but couldn’t keep it out.
That is the difference between the two South American nations, as Colombia is 45 minutes away from its first-ever berth in the World Cup quarterfinals.