Suarez injured his hamstring in the Copa del Rey final for Barcelona, and his participation in the entire Copa America has been in question. He did not appear in Uruguay’s opening round loss to Mexico, and he was a doubt to be ready for their vital match with Venezuela.
But with Uruguay down 1-0 to Venezuela in the 80th minute, Edinson Cavani struggling mightily, and their Copa America lives on the line, El Pistolero was ready to come into the game. He loaded up his shin guards, taped his socks, warmed up on the sidelines, took off his substitute bib, and told head coach Oscar Tabarez he was ready to go.
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Except he couldn’t play. Not because he was injured, but because he legally couldn’t play.
Before the match, according to the Fox broadcast, Tabarez listed Suarez as “ineligible due to injury,” which is all well and good…except judging by Suarez’s reaction, it appears nobody bothered to inform Suarez he was ineligible to play.
So when Suarez told Tabarez he was ready to help his country back from the jaws of elimination, Tabarez waved his finger Dikembe Mutombo-style at Suarez, causing him to unleash fury upon the substitute shelter.
*Insert monkey covering eyes emoji here*
There’s no way Suarez did all that work to come in if he was aware he couldn’t actually play. Moreover, there’s definitely no way Suarez reacts in that manner had he known Tabarez couldn’t legally bring him in.
The worst part about this is, what if he re-aggrivated his hamstring injury warming up because he didn’t know? Can you imagine the embarrassment? Can you imagine Barcelona’s anger? Maybe next time someone should bother to tell one of the best strikers in the world that he can’t actually play. That might avoid these egg-in-the-face moments.