It’s five years to the day since one of the most infamous moments of Luis Suarez’s career.
The Uruguayan’s bite on Giorgio Chiellini, which led to a four-month ban, happened on June 24, 2014.
As he tried to wriggle free from Chiellini, the striker shockingly landed a bite on the Italian's shoulder. Both players went to ground, with Suarez clutching his teeth in apparent agony.
Suarez was sent home from the World Cup and the backlash he received prompted him to seek professional help.
"I turned to psychologists and that really helped me to accept my mistakes and grow," he said, per the Daily Mail. "I suffered a great deal during that period, for my wife, my children and my team-mates.
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"I was treated inhumanely, though. I had signed for Barcelona and they didn't even give me a presentation to the media.
“I thought my career was over and I'd have to retire."
Suarez said he lost his balance
Suarez initially said that he lost his balance and fell on Chiellini.
"I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent," he wrote in his defence to FIFA, per BBC Sport.
"At that moment, I hit my face against the player, leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth."
But that defence didn’t stand up with FIFA and he was hit with a four-month ban, which delayed his Barcelona debut.
Chiellini himself thought that punishment was harsh.
“I believe that the proposed formula is excessive,” the Italian defender said in a statement on his website, per the Evening Standard.
“I sincerely hope that he will be allowed, at least, to stay close to his team-mates during the games because such a ban is really alienating for a player.”
Suarez recalled the moment that he learned about the ban in his 2014 autobiography Crossing the Line: My Story.
“I was at training the next day, still in this unconscious state of denial,” Suarez wrote, via The Guardian.
“Just as we finished the session, the Maestro [Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez] called me over. He had news: ‘This is the worst thing that I have ever had to tell a player.’
“At that moment, I thought maybe the ban would be 10, 15 or even 20 games, but then he said, ‘Nine matches.’ That didn’t seem any worse than I had feared.
“But he wasn’t finished: ‘And you can’t set foot in any stadium. You have to leave now. You can’t be anywhere near the squad.’”
Shocking. Iconic. Incredible. Luis Suarez, ladies and gentlemen.
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