After Luis Suarez was banned by the FA, we look at the striker's previous controversies.
Last Updated: 21/12/11 3:39pm
Throughout his career, Luis Suarez has never been far from trouble. The Uruguayan has undoubted footballing talent, but also has a habit for hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons. Skysports.com looks back at some of the Liverpool No.7's previous offences.
Life in England
Since arriving at Anfield almost 12 months ago, Suarez has experienced a turbulent year in the Premier League. The 24-year-old, who celebrates his birthday in January, has been hailed for his footballing ability, but also criticised for a number of incidents. He never seems to be far from trouble. He is already booed by most visiting fans at Anfield, while he is always a target when Liverpool travel to opponents. Suarez's ability means he is a marked man, but it is also elements of his personality which attract the boo-boys. Opinion differs on his tendency to go to ground under challenges, and arguments for and against suggest he is either a 'diver' or he does not receive enough protection from match officials. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was one of the first to accuse Suarez of play-acting, and West Brom's Paul Scharner was also less than impressed after the Copa America winner earned a penalty in Liverpool's 2-0 win at The Hawthorns in October.
The racism row with Patrice Evra has added to criticism of Suarez and his eight-match ban and £40,000 fine from the Football Association indicates the severity of the offence. Evra claimed after the draw between United and Liverpool at Anfield in mid-October that Suarez had used a racial slur 'at least 10 times'.
After a month-long investigation, the FA found Suarez guilty of the Evra offence, but during that time he had managed to incur another charge from English football's governing body. An alleged gesture of his middle finger towards Fulham fans during Liverpool's 1-0 defeat at Craven Cottage in early December earned a charge of improper conduct. Liverpool were given an extended deadline to consider their appeal.
'The Cannibal of Ajax'
Suarez has not only been causing trouble since he arrived at Liverpool. During his time at former club Ajax he achieved infamy after shockingly biting the shoulder of PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal in November 2010. The actions grabbed attention around the world and earned a seven-game suspension. The incident took place during a mass coming-together between Ajax and PSV players, with Suarez clearly seen to have taken a bite of Bakkal's shoulder. Provocation can only be speculated upon, but the notorious action only underlined the forward's hot-head image. Suarez already had a reputation for confrontation at Ajax after being fined and suspended for a half-time bust-up with team-mate Albert Luque during a match against Feyenoord in the 2008/09 season.
2010 World Cup
The suggestion was that doubts about Suarez's mentality was the only reason no club signed him in the immediate aftermath of the World Cup in South Africa. As a player, he was one of the stars of the tournament in an exciting and impressive Uruguay team, who went on to reach the semi-finals. But it was the manner in which the South Americans reached the last four which caused debate. Suarez, of course, committed his very own 'Hand of God' in the quarter-finals against Ghana, as he prevented a shot from crossing the line and was duly sent off. Ghana missed the resulting penalty and went on to lose on spot-kicks. Suarez was suspended for Uruguay's semi-final defeat to Holland.
Suarez made his first senior international appearance for Uruguay in the February of 2007. However, his debut is remembered for the wrong reasons. Uruguay defeated Colombia, but Suarez was sent off in the closing minutes after collecting two yellow cards.
The striker's attitude was always going to be a factor Liverpool needed to consider when paying £22.8million to Ajax. It could be argued that the prickly nature is what makes Suarez a player of such calibre. But there is also no hiding from his list of previous offences. His eight-match ban from the FA has been met by anger from Liverpool and a whole range of arguments exist, including cultural misunderstanding, a lack of evidence and the severity of punishment. Liverpool are likely to appeal and it is possible that Suarez's suspension will be decreased to an estimated five matches. However, no matter what the possible provocation, if Suarez did indeed use the words for which he has been accused, there is no excuse. If guilty, he deserves the punishment. The footballing world cannot be seen to be outraged by acts of racism, or the recent scandal caused by FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who claimed discrimination is not a major issue in football, and then not act.