The Headline in the Liverpool Echo this morning read: “He Needs Help”
Widely regarded as a genius on the football field but with a flawed character, Luis Suarez proved his naysayers right yesterday. Uruguay faced Italy for the battle of group D. At the time, all we saw in real time was a tussle between Giorgio Chiellini and Suarez. Those at the stadium wouldn’t have known what happened, the ref didn’t even know what happened. Those of us at home had the advantage of action replays. By the time the match was done and dusted (Godin scored the only goal of the game, knocking Italy out of the World Cup) all anyone was talking about was the “bite.” Not that the Uruguayan star isn’t used to controversy. Lets look at Luis Suarez’ troubled past:
- In July 2010 he became the villain in South Africa after handling Dominic Adiyiah’s goal bound ball in the Quarter-Final of the World Cup against Ghana.
- Later that year in 2010 while with Ajax, he was handed a 8 match ban for nibbling PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal.
- In November 2011 he was found to have muttered racial slurs to Manchester United’s Patrice Evra. He received an 8 match ban and a hefty fine. The next time he faced Evra pre-match, he refused to shake his hand.
- In April 2013 he was banned by the FA for 10 games for biting Chelsea man Branislav Ivanovic.
The Psychology Around Biting
Biting others is something we see in young children, usually in stressful circumstances. When it happens they’re usually reprimanded and hopefully the child now knows right from wrong and he/she wont do it again. Also as the child grows, they would learn how to handle stressful situations, without biting. Its certainly not normal adult behaviour. I believe Suarez doesnt plan to bite, he does purely on impulse. In this situation, Uruguay were in dire need of a goal, frustration, maybe even helplessness led him to sink his teeth into Chiellini. Previously, against Chelsea, Liverpool were doing badly, having conceded a penalty. To dig deeper into the psyche around it, to find out what makes Suarez blow his cool , we’d need collateral information from his parents and peers as a young boy (Something Wright Thompson dove into deeply in his piece: Portrait of a Serial Winner. Thanks to Barcelista for alerting me to this one). The passion he plays football with is clear. With the ball, he is relentless, never willing to give up a pass, never willing to accept defeat. Unfortunately the same energy spills over when hes under stress and while the game brings out the best in him, I’m sorry to say it also brings out the worst.
The Internet Explodes
Did you know as a footballer there is a high probability of being bitten by Suarez than a snake.
— Alex♆ (@RedCityOfficial) June 25, 2014
— A Football Blog (@afootballblog) June 25, 2014
How does Luis Suarez not burst into flames in the sunlight? #WorldCup2014
— Arda Ocal (@arda_ocal) June 24, 2014
To be fair to Luis Suarez, I can’t resist an Italian sub either.
— Jason O. Gilbert (@gilbertjasono) June 24, 2014
The best came from Nando’s UK:
— Nando’s (@NandosUK) June 24, 2014