Luis Suarez almost missed the tie against Arsenal Arsenal fans almost got a reprieve before their UEFA Champions League game against Barcelona when news filtered out that Luis Suarez had forgotten his passport at home. Things didn't turn out all that well for the Gunners as a club official rushed back to the Uruguayan's home just in time and Suarez was able to take the field against the Premier League side.Luis, however, was pretty close to missing out on a game due to some carelessness but it wouldn't have been the first time someone had missed out on a game for some crazy reasons.We look back over the years and list out five instances when players missed games for their team due to bizarre reasons:
#5 Stewart Devine - On a holiday
Stewart might not be a household name in the world of Scottish football but he did miss one of the biggest games in his career when his amateur Scottish side Bo’ness United faced Arbroath in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.
It wasn't that Devine was injured or suspended but he was actually away on a holiday. To be honest, Devine is not a professional footballer and expecting an amateur side to reach the finals of the competition is a little too much to ask for.
Devine probably made plans for the holiday a while ago and also had a full-time job to support his footballing career. Still, it was a pretty bizarre reason to miss out on a game.
#4 Anton Ferdinand - Party time!
The younger brother of England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, Anton did have a few good years in the Premier League with West Ham. The defender though was also caught up for missing a game for the Hammers due to a legitimate reason.
Ferdinand asked for some time off to visit his ailing grandmother on the Isle of Wight. The truth, however, was a completely different story, Anton had gone to party with a few other players at the Knock Knock nightclub in South Carolina.
Alan Curbishley, the West Ham manager at that time was upset, and rightly so. The Englishman fined Anton two weeks' wages, a small price to pay for such a big lie. He could have just told the truth to the manager, he would have understood the situation, we guess.
#3 Mohamed Sissoko - The missing friendly
Club vs. country is an enormous debate in the world of football. Players are paid huge wages by clubs, who want to protect their assets while countries want the best talent from all across the world to represent their national side in important clashes.
The African Cup of Nations takes place during the football league season and Valencia midfielder Mohamed Sissoko informed his side that he had been called up for a friendly against Kenya.
Valencia did give him a few days off and Sissoko returned to the side, he did ensure that he was brought off at half-time as the Spanish side had requested. All going well till now, it was only later that the La Liga side found out that there had not been a match between Kenya and Mali on the day Sissoko went to play for them.
In fact, the match never took place, no one really knows why Sissoko needed the few days off but certainly playing the 'country call' card worked well for the former Liverpool player.
#2 Shinji Kagawa - Overeating
Shinji Kagawa did not have the greatest of spells at Manchester United and was transferred back to Dortmund in 2014. Kagawa did win the Premier League under Sir Alex Ferguson but his time with David Moyes will be remembered for one particular incident.
Kagawa was expected to play against Newcastle but could not take to the field. United did lose to Newcastle in that game and when David Moyes was asked about the Japanese star's absence, the Scot had this to say:
"It was a bad sickness. He thinks he ate too much, and he had to get his stomach pumped, but I think he is okay."
To sum it up, Shinji ate a lot of food, fell ill, had to get his stomach pumped and missed the game. Well, it certainly does beat playing for David Moyes.
#1 Stephen Ireland - Grandmothers
Another player playing the 'family' card to escape international duty was Stephen Ireland. The then Manchester City and Ireland international told his international manager Steve Staunton that he could not take part in a crucial tie for the qualification of the Euro 2008 as his grandmother had passed away.
The Irish football authorities sanctioned a private jet for him to spend time with the family but details started flowing out bit by bit. Journalists discovered that both of Ireland's grandmothers were alive and well. The midfielder then stated that one of his grandfather's partner had died, which again was a lie.
The truth did come out a bit later when Ireland confessed that he went to spend some time with his girlfriend who had suffered a miscarriage. The upsetting part in this entire episode is that the authorities would have permitted him to leave the side and join his girlfriend if he had spoken the truth.
The national side lost the game and missed out on Euro 2008 while Stephen had to deal with two upset managers, club and country. Ireland had also spoken to Sven-Goran Eriksson for an extended leave since he had to deal with the funeral arrangements when the Swede found out the truth about all this, he labelled the Manchester City midfielder as "stupid".
Always speak the truth, Ireland must have learned that now.