Luis Suarez left Anfield and moved to Barcelona this summer for a mighty £75m. The former Liverpool forward was transferred despite the 4 month ban that hung over him following the bite of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during their World Cup clash in Brazil. However, when the Court of Arbitration for Sport decided to remove the sanction that banned him from all “football related activity” it has paved the way for the Uruguayan to make his Barcelona debut today.
Whilst Luis Suarez still cannot play a competitive match for the Catalan club, meaning he won’t be available until El Clásico in October, he is allowed to train and play in friendly matches. Barcelona take on Mexican side Club Leon this evening in a pre-season game and new boss Luis Enrique has confirmed Suarez may make a brief appearance in front of the fans.
The 27 year old striker had previously been training alone under the FIFA restrictions imposed upon him so is thought to be lacking fitness and awareness with his teammates at this early stage. His first training session at the club’s facility was on Friday but as the ban progresses it is thought Barcelona will organise further friendly matches to allow Luis Suarez game time.
Luis Suarez was a star addition to the Premier League and netted 69 goals in 110 Liverpool league games and also has 40 goals in 78 Uruguay caps. Unfortunately, the career of this troubled genius has constantly been embroiled in controversy. In November 2010 he received a 7 game suspension whilst at Ajax for biting PSV’s Otman Bakkal, in December 2011 he was given an 8 match ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during a Liverpool game and then in April 2013 he once again bit an opposition player, this time Branislav Ivanovic from Chelsea for which he was banned for 10 games. It seems the third offence this summer and also the fact it was on the grandest stage, the World Cup saw FIFA wish to punish Luis Suarez like never before.
Barcelona will no doubt be delighted to get their new star out on the pitch wearing the number 9 shirt to give their fans a taste of what is to come in October.