Apart from among Liverpool and Barcelona fans, Luis Suarez isn’t really that popular.
The Uruguay striker has been embroiled in a number of hairy incidents over the years – racism scandals, biting scandals, diving scandals… you name it – but there was one moment during the 2010 World Cup that marked him out to some as a cheat.
Uruguay were facing fellow tournament underdogs Ghana in the quarter-finals of the competition, and the game was desperately tense. With the game level in the dying moments, Suarez deliberately handled the ball on the goal-line, earning himself a red card and a ban for the semis – if his nation got there.
Asamoah Gyan (remember him?) stepped up to take the penalty, having already netted two during the tournament. As Suarez watched from the tunnel, Gyan skimmed the top of the bar, taking the game to extra time.
Without Suarez, the 10 men of Uruguay battled to penalties, and edged out the spot kicks, scoring four to Ghana’s two.
- The heartbreaking true story of Dele Alli’s rise to stardom
- Our top 10 shirts of 2017/18 season (Liverpool make the cut…)
- The new AIK kit is so good it crashed their club website…
Being interviewed by his team-mate Gerard Pique in The Players’ Tribune, Suarez was asked about the goalmouth handball, and how he felt after being sent off. He answered frankly:
“Yes, the truth is, it was a bit of everything — of being depressed, of being sad, of being sent off. Because we were going to lose, but if they weren’t scoring that goal we weren’t going to lose, and … well, you get up within 30 seconds when he takes the penalty kick, the satisfaction of … of … well, I took a risk in a situation of which I have been blamed for anti fair play. However, the Ghana player missing the penalty is not my fault.
“I didn’t kick anyone or anything like that, that’s why I think that I celebrated like that, for having taken a risk for something that was worth it. And I remember that I celebrated it more than a goal. A teammate on the bench passed out on that play, hahaha.”
Doesn’t seem too bothered about it, then…