One of the biggest stories that came out from the 2014 World Cup hosted by Brazil is the incident involving Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez and Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. In the tensed knock out match, Suarez decided to go all out to bite Chiellini on the shoulder.
Unfortunately for Italy, the referee on duty did not see the incident and Suarez who was one of the most important Players for Uruguay in the match finish the match without being punished by the referee. The match ended 1-0 in favour of Uruguay and Italy crashed out of the World Cup.
It was days after FIFA disciplinary committee looked at the tape of the match and confirmed that the then Liverpool star bit the Italian and Juventus defender. Hence, FIFA banned him from anything football for four months, including 9 international matches.
The incident became one of the catalysts for his move from the Premier League side Liverpool to Spanish La Liga side, Barcelona.
As least expected, Giorgio Chiellini wrote in his autobiography that he holds no grudge against the Barcelona forward, noting that he even admires him more for carrying out such an action.
Chiellini admitted that he would have done the same if he was in the shoe of the striker because that is the way he defends himself whenever he is involved in hand-to-hand combat.
He also admitted that he enjoys taking on strikers like Suarez and he admires “his cunning” because “to get past a rival you have to be smart.”
Giorgio Chiellini noticed Suarez’s bite suddenly
“I marked (Edinson) Cavani for most of the match, another guy who is difficult to mark and who we didn’t hold back against,” Chiellini wrote.
“Suddenly I noticed that I had been bitten in the shoulder. It just happened, but that’s his strategy in hand-to-hand combat and, if I may say so, it’s mine too. He and I are alike, and I like to take on attackers like him… If he [Suarez] had lost it, he would have become an ordinary striker”.
To show the importance of Luis Suarez in Uruguayan national team, when Suarez was banned after the game against Italy, Uruguay lost their next match 2–0 to Colombia and were knocked out of the World Cup.
Since the incident, he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for Barcelona and has scored 142 goals in all competitions and has remained one of the most important players of the Uruguayan national team.