Talent alone is not the ticket to greatness. One has to be equally good at heart and behavior to be called a global icon. Being a genius is something which is very often associated with eccentricity. Liverpool star Luis Suarez’s bite on Chelsea defender, Branislav Ivanovic represents a very similar case.
As a footballer Suarez is immensely gifted. His intelligent movement and a keen sense of making the most of goal scoring opportunities, is what makes him an outright predator on the field. He has made a difference many times and has saved Liverpool. The goals against Newcastle and Chelsea in recent times bear proof of that. He is the Premier League’s second top scorer of the current season. But having said so much about his wealth of talent and what a fine a footballer he is, there is still a “but”. But yes, along with all such great qualities comes his incredible sense of attracting controversies.
The bite on Ivanovic isn’t the first time that Suarez is in the soup. His controversies have followed him throughout his career. During his international debut for Uruguay against Colombia, he was sent off in the final minutes after being shown a second yellow card for dissent. His biggest controversy till date came in the World Cup of 2010. During the quarter-finals, Suarez prevented Ghana’s Dominic Adiyiah from scoring in the final minute with a deliberate handball on the line and was subsequently sent off. Footage showed Suarez celebrating on the sidelines when Ghana missed the penalty. Those scenes infuriated fans in the world of football.
In January 2011 Suarez moved to Liverpool. But again controversies struck him in the form of Patrice Evra. He was found guilty of racially abusing Evra and was banned for eight matches and fined £40,000. To get a racism charge is bad for anybody, but for a professional footballer it’s a whole lot worse. Footballers are often role models for many and such a crime from them is inexcusable under any circumstances.
Suarez refused to change even after being penalized time and time again. He was seen making offensive gestures to hostile Fulham fans and was later banned for a match. Later in another event, to celebrate a goal against Everton, Suarez dived in front of David Moyes, who had earlier claimed that “divers” such as Suarez, were upsetting the fans. Though he wasn’t punished for that act, Suarez did attract the anger of the English press.
Suarez’s latest incident in a live match has earned him a 10-match ban from the FA. His teammates and club manager Brendan Rodgers have said that the length of the ban is unfair. But then again this is not his first “bite” incident. He had been previously found guilty for biting PSV midfielder Otman Bakkal, during an Eredivisie match and was banned for seven matches. Suarez is a highly gifted athlete, but it’s high time that he shows better sportsmanship on and off the field.