On this day 10 years ago, with Uruguay and Ghana locked at one goal apiece in their World Cup quarter-final and extra-time almost up, the ball broke to Dominic Adiyiah in the Uruguayan box.
The Ghanaian got his effort on target, only for Luis Suarez to handle the ball on the goal-line. Suarez was sent off for deliberate handball, but Asamoah Gyan fired his penalty kick against the bar.
With next to no time left on the clock, the game went to penalties and Uruguay prevailed.
For many, that was a first introduction to Luis Suarez the pantomime villain, but he’s had plenty of moments of controversy since, many of them during his spell in England with Liverpool. Here are a few of his ‘highlights’.
Bite on Otman Bakkal
A few months after the Ghana game, Suarez was playing for Ajax against PSV Eindhoven when he got into… let’s call it a ‘disagreement’ with opponent Otman Bakkal.
A crowd formed, with the referee present, at which point the striker decided for some reason to plunge his teeth into Bakkal’s flesh.
Ajax disciplined Suarez internally for his actions, but the Dutch FA decided their punishment didn’t go far enough, banning him for seven league games.
Racism incident with Patrice Evra
Still the most notable controversy involving Suarez’s time in England, the then-Liverpool frontman was charged with racially abusing Manchester United ’s Patrice Evra during a league game at Anfield in October 2011.
He was banned for eight games, and stoked further controversy after failing to shake Evra’s hand during the return match later in the 2011/12 season.
“When I did the punditry on Sky and Jamie Carragher apologised after eight years, I was so surprised,” Evra said in 2019.
“He said they made a big mistake (supporting Suarez) that day and he apologised. It really touched me and now I will respect Liverpool as a football club because, when this happened, I was really disappointed with the club.”
Gesture to Fulham fans
Later in the 2011/12 season, Suarez accepted an FA misconduct charge after making an offensive gesture towards Fulham fans.
The incident took place during a 1-0 defeat for Liverpool at Craven Cottage, earning the striker a one-match ban and £20,000 fine.
Curiously, it took place after his suspension for the Evra incident had been announced, but before it had been served, and the Liverpool man didn’t play a single minute in January 2012 due to accumulated suspensions.
Rafael hair pulling
The Evra incident wasn’t the only time he incurred the wrath of Manchester United that season, though the second time wasn’t quite as high-key.
In the return game at Old Trafford, Suarez’s first start since serving his suspension, the Liverpool man was caught having a proper tug on the hair of United right-back Rafael.
It was missed by the referee at the time, while no further punishment followed for this particular incident.
Diving in front of David Moyes
Not all of these incidents are on the same level, but we’ve included the battle with David Moyes on the grounds that anything tied to a Merseyside Derby automatically becomes more significant.
Moyes, then in charge of Everton, accused Suarez of diving to get Jack Rodwell sent off in a derby meeting, saying: “It will turn the public and fans off football if they think people are conning their way to results.”
The Uruguayan responded to the comments, made on the eve of another derby, by celebrating his goal with a dive celebration right in front of the Toffees boss. At least Moyes seemed to see the funny side.
Handball v Mansfield
A handball to see your country through to a World Cup semi-final is one thing, as the playing field is at least level.
Doing it for Liverpool against Mansfield during a cup tie between two sides at the opposite end of the football pyramid, as Suarez did in January 2013, is another altogether.
Suarez used his hand to keep the ball under control before putting the ball in the net, handing (pun not intended) his team a 2-0 advantage over the then-National League side in the FA Cup third round meeting.
The home side pulled one back, and many wondered what might have happened without the striker’s illegal intervention, missed by the officials.
Bite on Branislav Ivanovic
“At first I thought maybe it was an accident but, apparently, he loses it sometimes. I don’t know what to say,” Otman Bakkal said after seeing Suarez bite an opponent for a second time in his career.
This time, Branislav Ivanovic was on the receiving end of what the Mirror’s David Maddock described as “a concerted slashing of demented jaws that resembled nothing less than a pitbull attack.”
Another lengthy ban followed, ruling Suarez out for the start of the 2013/14 season, but with the bite missed by the on-pitch officials he still had time to fire home a stoppage-time equaliser in the Chelsea game itself.
Bite on Giorgio Chiellini
That’s right, a third bite. One in an Ajax shirt, one as a Liverpool player and one when representing Uruguay.
Suarez was handed a nine-match ban after the game, but not before finishing the match and helping Uruguay progress to the last 16 of the 2014 World Cup at Italy’s – and Chiellini’s – expense.
The striker was suspended for his country’s elimination at the hands of Colombia, and later apologised to Chiellini for what he described as “the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me.”