The current World Cup tournament has provided the spectators with several fascinating football matches and attacking play within pleasant stadium environments, but the sight of Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez allegedly biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder during the later stages of a match thrust the darker side of football into the spotlight. Suarez is no stranger to this type of behaviour after biting Branislav Ivanovic during a Liverpool versus Chelsea match which followed a similar act when playing for Ajax. It begs the question as to whether the Uruguay forward can ever rid himself of such poor behaviour.
Born in the cobbled streets of Salto before moving to Montevideo, Suarez was to witness the break-up of the marriage of his parents which may have sown the initial seeds of serious indiscipline during a time when he was learning his early football trade at the Nacional team in Uruguay. Long term girlfriend Sofia Balbi tried to help him in those early years but his lack of respect for referees and frequent troubles both on and off the pitch never seemed to diminish.
Suarez head-butted a referee when only 16 years old and there followed further spells of controversy when moving to Europe. A former team-mate at Ajax Erik Nevland once described him as totally passionate about football with a serious will to win but which can often yield negative criticism and crazy personal acts.
During the last World Cup, a last minute handball by Suarez on the goal line denied Ghana a winning goal and a place in the semi-final, but he was to show no remorse for his act on the pitch much to the despair of many witnesses.
Perhaps it may be just naivety at times with Suarez especially when racism accusations against Patrice Evra of Manchester may have been a misinterpretation of words, but there are occasions when his need to win can result in him overstepping the mark.
Although he is regarded as a hero back home in Uruguay, this latest incident may have further repercussions which may work to the disadvantage of the national team. During a frustrating match against Italy when the game was so evenly poised with approximately 10 minutes remaining, the dark side of Suarez resurfaced once again. Uruguay were in grave danger of elimination as they faced a stubborn Italian defence.
The ensuing incident may have affected Italian concentration as they were to concede the only goal soon afterwards but for Suarez, the win was the most important consideration and his denial of biting remained.
For such a great goal poacher who showed his real prowess when scoring both goals against England, his ambition to be regarded as a true football legend may never be realised until he finally curbs the temperament problems inherent from his early days in Uruguay.
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