Luis Suarez - A career of two halves

FIFA’s latest sanctions for Uruguay’s Luis Suarez are just the latest in a long list of punishments handed to the player during his footballing career.

Luis Suarez - A career of two halves

FIFA’s latest sanctions for Uruguay’s Luis Suarez are just the latest in a long list of punishments handed to the player during his footballing career.

The 27-year old striker, currently part of the Liverpool side that finished runners-up in the Premier League this year, is a man of mass contradictions. A gifted and instinctive player, he can also be frighteningly undisciplined and is often his own worst enemy.

This contradiction was evident as far back as 2007, when the then 19-year-old was brought to Europe by Dutch side Groningen. He scored four goals for them in five matches, all in the month of January.

However, in the same time frame he also received three yellow cards and one red. At the end of that season Suarez successfully agitated for a move to another Dutch side, Ajax.

Suarez initially settled well at Ajax, scoring 17 goals in his debut season and by 2010 he was the team captain. He had been Ajax player of the season for two years running and was also Dutch footballer of the year for 2009/2010.

But, throughout this time he also had recurring disciplinary issues - on one occasion his own club suspended him for fighting with a team-mate at half time over a free kick.

In 2010 he also courted controversy in the World Cup in South Africa. He scored three goals in the tournament, enabling the South American side to reach the final eight. Then in extra-time of the quarter-final he blatantly handballed on the line to prevent a certain Ghana goal.

Uruguay eventually won the match on penalties and Suarez received an automatic one-match ban and missed the semi-final, which they lost.

Back in Holland, in November 2010, Suárez incredibly bit PSV's Otman Bakkal on the shoulder, his first biting incident.

His club banned him for two matches, but this was increased to seven by the Dutch KNVB and he was branded The Cannibal of Ajax by the press.

Suarez moved to Liverpool in January 2011 and it only took until October of that year for him to get in serious trouble.

The striker was found guilty of racially abusing Man United’s Patrice Evra and received an eight match ban. He then compounded the offence by refusing to shake Evra’s hand when they next met on the football field.

His club were also heavily criticised for supporting him over the issue with it being thought to have been a factor in former manager Kenny Dalglish leaving the club at the end of the season.

In April 2013 Suarez again resorted to using his teeth, biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League game. This time his club were open in their condemnation of the strike and they issued him with a heavy fine which was followed by a ten match ban from the English FA.

Suarez returned to club football in September of last year and had an incredible season, hitting 31 goals in 33 games, going on to win the PFA player of the year award.

Suarez, pictured with Eden Hazard, named PFA Player of the Year

Fans hoped that this meant his rehabilitation was complete, but as the events of the last few days show, with Suarez the next controversy is never far away.

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