By 90Min
March 03, 2019

Uruguay's World Cup campaign in 2014 would have been largely forgotten by football supporters if it wasn't for one incident in particular involving a certain Luis Suarez.

An underwhelming defeat to Costa Rica followed by a 2-1 victory over England set La Celeste up for a winner-takes-all clash with Italy to decide who would make it into the round of 16 in Brazil.

What would occur during the match at the Arena das Dunas in Natal shocked viewers watching across the globe as Suarez quite literally tried to to take a chunk out of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, biting him in footage that was caught on television replays.

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The striker somehow eluded a booking for the action and a late goal from Diego Godin secured a dramatic victory for Uruguay and set up a South American showdown with Colombia, which they would go on to lose 2-0.

Despite avoiding initial punishment during the game, Suarez was handed a four-month ban from all footballing activities by FIFA. Suarez completed the transfer from Liverpool to Barcelona that same summer, after the Reds accepted a £65m bid.

The reaction from the clubs' supporters towards their new signing was mixed as although he was undoubtedly one of the world's best forwards, Suarez's reputation was tarnished by no fewer than three biting incidents during his career as well as being found guilty of racially abusing then-Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in 2011.


Champions League Triumph and the Treble

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Suarez's suspension meant that he had to wait until October 2014 to make his debut for Barcelona, and a slow start to his career at the Camp Nou saw him score just once in his first eight La Liga games, raising concerns that he may not be suited to Spanish football.

However, the arrival of the year 2015 coincided with the marksman's return to the form that he had demonstrated at Liverpool as he fired in 15 goals in 18 games in the league as the Blaugrana won the title ahead of arch-rivals Real Madrid.


Suarez's deadly ability in front of goal began to surface at vital times in the Champions League as a double in the round of 16 against Manchester City was followed by another brace in the quarter-finals before he started to build the foundations of his Barcelona legacy by scoring in a 3-1 victory over Juventus in the final of the competition.

A 3-1 triumph over Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey secured a treble for Barcelona in what ultimately proved to be a superb first season for Suarez in Spain.


Outscoring Messi and Ronaldo: A Historic Achievement

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Alongside the irrepressible Lionel Messi and the flamboyant Neymar, Suarez formed a with them a partnership known as 'MSN' which struck fear into the heart of their opponents for three years, until the aforementioned Brazilian's high-profile departure to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.

The three forwards scored a remarkable total of 364 goals in 450 games (combined not separate) whilst also linking up to provide an extra 173 assists, often to each other.

Although Messi would go on to deservedly win the Ballon d'Or for his performances in 2015, Suarez had finally earned the respect of the Barcelona fans and recorded an incredible display of finishing in the season that followed with the Uruguayan bagging 59 times in 53 games.

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With just five games to go and the Blaugrana fighting Madrid for the La Liga title once again, the former Ajax star produced a sensational run of scoring, finding the back of the net on 14 occasions.

A hat-trick against Granada on the final day of the season secured back-to-back Spanish top-flight triumphs and saw Suarez win the Pichichi Trophy, having outscored both Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the league (40 goals). This particular feat will go down in history as the two forwards were arguably at the pinnacle of their careers.


El Clasico Moments

Since moving to Barcelona in 2014, the 32-year-old forward has played in 15 El Clasico fixtures with Madrid and has been involved in 16 goals, scoring 11 and assisting five.

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Suarez has proven time and time again that he is the man for the biggest of occasions and this season he has taken his talents to another level, scoring a hat-trick in the Blaugrana's 5-1 demolition of Los Blancos in November before bagging a brace in February in a 3-0 win that secured his side a place in the Copa Del Rey final.

With Barcelona winning 1-0 at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday, the club have now taken the lead in the all-time head to head record with 96 victories, with six of those occurring during Suarez's time at the club.


A Transformation in Character

The Uruguayan's tenacious attitude whilst on the pitch may still be evident whenever he plays, yet he has steered clear of any controversy whilst playing in La Liga.

Once known primarily around the world as the man who bites other players, Suarez's dazzling displays for Barcelona will be, barring any further incidents, what he will be remembered for amongst supporters in La Liga.

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An incredible total of 171 goals in 234 appearances for Barcelona already places him above the likes of Samuel Eto'o and Rivaldo on the all-time scoring list at the Camp Nou, and with Josep Samiter and Laszlo Kubala's records within touching distance, the sky is the limit for the forward.

Whereas the arrival of Ronaldinho in 2003 brought about the dawn of the Blaugrana's greatest ever era of football, the signing of Suarez in 2014 could be considered equally as important as the club have won 12 major honours in the last five years.

By consistently producing world-class performances in the biggest of games, Suarez has crafted a legacy as one of Barcelona's greatest ever signings, placing him alongside the likes of Ronald Koeman, Gerard Pique and Rivaldo in the Catalan side's history books.

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