Dive of the Day: Luis Suárez’s Bite of the Day?

Slate's soccer blog.
June 24 2014 2:31 PM

Dive of the Day: Luis Suárez’s Bite of the Day?

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Really? Again? Really???

Photo by Javier Soriano/Getty Images

Wow. It looks like it happened again. Luis “El Caníbal” Suárez may have taken a bite out of an opponent for the third time in his career, this time on soccer’s biggest stage. In the 79th minute of Uruguay’s 1–0 victory over Italy, the Liverpool striker appeared to dig his mouth into Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder. Chiellini dropped to the turf, elbowing Suárez in the face as he went down, and grabbed at his shoulder. A moment later, Suárez also went down clutching his jaw, as if to indicate that he had been elbowed in the mouth rather than attaching his own mouth to another player. A rare double Dive of the Day! And the dives were the least interesting thing about this imbroglio.

As he walked off, Chiellini lifted up his shirt and pointed at his shoulder to indicate that he’d been the victim of a Suárez special. He could have been play-acting to try to get Suárez sent off, but it fits a pattern of behavior by Suárez and very much looked like another bite. For context, Suárez has been banned twice previously for biting opponents, once while playing in the Dutch league and once while playing in the English Premier League. To learn more, read Stefan Fatsis’ history of biting in sports, pegged to a previous Suárez bite. 

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Level of actual contact: 8
Level of simulated contact: 6
Dive duration: 20 seconds 

Oh, and biting isn’t the only reason that Suárez is a jerk. Here is a lengthy lowlight reel of his worst previous moments.

Jeremy Stahl is a Slate senior editor. You can follow him on Twitter.