Video: Luis Suarez jokingly tries to bite Lionel Messi at UEFA Best Player ceremony
Barcelona striker Luis Suarez appeared to jokingly bite his club team-mate Lionel Messi backstage at the Champions League Draw. The night also included a UEFA Player of the Year award ceremony. The award went to Lionel Messi in the end but it is testament to an impressive season that the former Liverpool man had that had him standing on the stage next to Cristiano Ronaldo and the boy from Rosario.
He has gained a reputation for his dark side. He may dazzle with his feet, impress with little effort and battle relentlessly for his team, but many will still remember him for only his penchant for biting. The Uruguayan has been caught biting players on the pitch three different times while playing for three separate clubs.
Suarez’s first offence came in November 2010 when the then Ajax man bit PSV’s Otman Bakkal on the pitch. He served a 2 match ban for his actions imposed on him by the club itself along with a fine. It was then that the murmurs of him as a “cannibal” emerged.
In the immediate aftermath of the first incident, Liverpool secured a move for the striker to bring him to Merseyside. During his spell there, he became one of their talismanic players forging a partnership with Steven Gerrard and later Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge to terrorise defences. But in April 2013, after he had been punished for racially abusing Patrice Evra in 2011, he was once again banned, this time for 10 games for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.
The very next season he would go on to win Player of the Year in the Premier League despite starting off late due to the ban. As the season ended in disappointment for Liverpool, Luis Suarez also decided to leave the club for Barcelona, who bought him, knowing full well that he was serving yet another ban, this time for biting Giorgio Chiellini while on international duty with Uruguay at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The FIFA ban was slightly different in its ruling as it banned Suarez from any “football-related activities” for 4 months, which included even entering a stadium. But this little tidbit of his messing about with team-mate Lionel Messi shows that since then, he's come a long way and now has made his peace with the past and is willing to joke about it.
A season where his partnership with the Argentine superstar and Neymar yielded 122 goals for Barcelona earned him a top 3 shortlist in the UEFA Player of the Year nomination and has seen him apparently turn a new page.