Posts Tagged Luis Suarez

The Suarez saga: Biters of the world unite


Birds of a feather flock together. So when Luis Suarez became a twitter celebrity for biting Branislav Ivanonovic, he gained himself a new twitter friend.

This new follower is none other than the world’s most famous professional athlete to have bitten an opponent, Mike Tyson. Tyson reached worldwide ‘biting fame’ when he chewed a chunk off Evander Holyfield’s ear during a match in 1997.

When asked about his decision to extend this almost virtual pat on the head to Suarez, Tyson said (audio here) :

“I just sort of got on the the Twitter thing and I said hey, um, this is an interesting guy, let me follow him, check him out, see what his journey’s all about. You know, he bit somebody, you know s*** happens, you know what I mean? I’m sure he made amends with his guy, I made amends with Evander, and we go on with our lives.”

It is unclear whether Suarez and Ivanovic have made amends. Suarez says that Ivanovic has accepted his apology but the Guardian claims Ivanovic has rejected it.

But as Tyson says, s*** happens. May be the boxer can tweet Suarez a few tips on how to stop the cannibal jokes.


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Patrice Evra bites back


Patrice Evra is a not a man who forgets. He showed this by biting into a fake arm while celebrating his team’s utter domination of the Premier League.

Manchester United won their 20th top-ranked title after brushing aside relegation threatened Aston Villa 3-0 at Old Trafford.

After the match, Manchester United players and staff celebrated their title clinching win with all the excitement of a yearly free trip around the sun.

To liven things up, a smiling Patrice Evra picked up and pretended to bite a fake severed arm thrown onto the pitch by a fan.

It appeared to be an attempt to mock Liverpool striker Luis Suarez’s who recently  just had to have a bite of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovich.

Suarez was infamously banned for eight matches last season after being found guilty of racially abusing Evra.

The French full-back just couldn’t help having a dig at his old foe as he tasted title glory for the fifth time with Manchester United.

Either that or it was a homage to some strange magic that has brought Alex Ferguson and Manchester United their success.

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World Cup Preview: Uruguay vs. Germany

The dream of reaching the final is over for Germany and Uruguay but both teams will want to go out of the 2010 World Cup on a high note by winning today’s third place match. The great thing about third place matches for spectators is that usually it is high scoring with both teams not having much to lose and therefore going all out to score.  Also, third place matches are kinda like a day at the spa, all about relaxation, enjoyment, de-stressing before the most stressful, nail-biting of all matches, the Final.

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Ranking: 16

Uruguay have been the dark horse of the tournament. They have won the World Cup twice but no one really remembers when and no one ever imagined they’d be playing to secure a 3rd place in this World Cup. Los Charrúas featured in the last four of a World Cup for the first time in 40 years.  Uruguay’s journey at this World Cup has been a real adventure and full of surprises.  They played the most dramatic match of this World Cup so far, winning in controversial manner and which might lead to the intoduction of goal-line technology and forever change the beautiful game.  They also surprised the Dutch by putting up a real fight in the Semi-final losing by a narrow 3-2 scoreline. The nation of only 3 million people won the very first World Cup and hasn’t been a big achiever in football for a long long time and to be  officially tagged as the ‘third best team at the World Cup’ would be a great achievement for this football crazy country.

Luis Suarez who was suspended for the Semi-Final against Netherlands will return for Uruguay however star striker Diego Forlan picked up an injury in the last match and could miss out. Oscar Tabarez will most likely go with his tried and tested 4-3-3 formation with Fernando Muslera in goal and Maximiliano Pereira, Mauricio Victorinio, Diego Godin, Jorge Fucile at the back. In the midfield Egidio Arévalo Ríos will sit back with Alvaro Pereira  and Diego Perez expected to provide width. Edinson Cavani, Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez will play up front and form Uruguay’s attack.

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Ranking: 6

To say that Germany have impressed is like saying that ‘Nutella’ is ‘ just alright’. They have made many football newbies and neutrals fall head over heels in love with them and left rival supporters shuddering at the prospect of meeting them in Euro 2012.The German football system is already being quoted as an example for nations who have been less fortunate (read England) in achieving their World Cup ambitions.  Today, Joachim Loew will want his players to just go out there, play their game, enjoy the occasion and if  Miroslav Klose can beat Ronaldo’s 15 goal World Cup record, it will be a bonus, albeit a deserved one.  We will finally get to judge just how important the young Thomas Muller, who comes back into the starting XI after serving a one-match suspension, is to Germany’s cause.   Unfortunately, Germany’s ‘national’ goal scoring machine Miroslav Klose might miss out on today’s game and an opportunity to set a new World Cup record due to an injury. Loew will go with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Manuel Neuer in goal and Arne Friedrich, Per Mertesacker, Philipp Lahm, Jerome Boateng at the back. Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger will look to control the midfield. Miroslav Klose will lead Germany’s attack with Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller and Lukas Podolski playing behind him.

Both team will definitely play an open game and will put up a good show for the fans as they bow out of the World Cup. It will be a chance for the fans to see some stars playing their last World Cup match and while other ‘newly’ discovered stars  like Muller and Ozil will get an opportunity to impress the fans again and leave them  with high expectations for the next World Cup. Today’s fixture is all about the joy of football and a tribute to skills and ability and spirit of both these wonderful teams. Germany’s young team might just win their consecutive World Cup 3rd place today.

Manager Speak

“Finishing fourth is not the same as third. We’ll go into the game with the same passion as we did against Holland.” – Oscar Tabarez, Uruguay manager

“Nobody needs to hang their heads low and we want to have a good final match.” – Joachim Loew, Germany manager

Stars to Watch Out For

Uruguay: Luis Suarez, Diego Forlan, Fernando Muslera

Germany: Thomas Muller, Miroslav Klose, Mesut Ozil, Bastian Schweinsteiger

Go Figure!

Uruguay’s loss to Holland in the semi-final was their first international defeat of 2010

This is a record fifth appearance in a World Cup third-place play-off match for Germany – they have won three times (1934, 1970 and 2006) and lost once (1958)

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World Cup Preview: Uruguay vs. Netherlands

When we talk about South American teams, we usually mean Argentina or Brazil. No one ever thinks about Uruguay even though Uruguay won the very first World Cup. This time Uruguay have made people sit up and pay attention. Their win over Ghana  which assured them a place in the Semi-Finals was undoubtedly the most dramatic of this World Cup. Since Uruguay have outlasted Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay in the tournament they are South America’s only hope to win the  2010 World Cup. No one could have guessed that La Celeste who qualified for this year’s competition after winning a play-off against Costa Rica would be only one win away from a place in the single biggest football match, the World Cup Final. Uruguay haven’t even made it to the final since 1950 and Oscar Tabarez’s team wants to change that. Netherlands on the other hand, like Spain,  have always had a talented team but failed to achieve real glory.  Oranje haven’t been past the semis in 32 years after having made it to consecutive finals in 1974 and 1978 where they lost to West Germany and Argentina respectively. Usually, its Brazil that bursts the Oranje bubble but this time the Dutch have already sent the Brazilians packing and will therefore feel this to be their best chance in a long time, to win the World Cup.

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Ranking: 16

Uruguay is a small nation steeped in football history. They play a game which is more scrappy and physical  and quite unlike the quintessential flamboyant South American ‘samba’ style of football. They qualified for the knockout stages as winners of Group A by drawing against France and beating South Africa and Mexico. It was in the knock-out stages in their game against Ghana where things took a turn for the dramatic for Uruguay. In the first half of stoppage time, Ghana scored and it looked like Uruguay were going back home. However,Diego Forlan had other ideas and leveled the score in the second half of stoppage time by netting one for the South Americans. In the last minute of added time however, Ghana struck again but this time, Luis Suarez handled the ball on the line but stopping a sure shot goal. Suarez was sent off and Ghana were awarded a penalty. Once again, it looked certain that the South Americans were on their way out. However, Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan missed and the game went to a penalty shoot with Uruguay still hanging on. And then, La Celeste  broke Ghanaian hearts and won 5-3 on penalty kicks.

It is this kind of  ‘never-die-spirit’  that can once again be expected from Uruguay today. Oscar Tabarez has so far been able to select a steady team but today he will be without the suspended Luis Suarez and Jorge Fucile. Diego Lugano, who went off early in the game against Ghana with a knee problem is also unlikely to star in today’s game. However, defender Diego Godin has recovered from his injury and will be available for today’s match. Tabarez will most likely go with a 4-4-2 formation with Fernando Muslera in goal and Maximiliano Pereira, Diego Godin, Maurice Victorino and Martin Caceres forming Uruguay back four. In the midfield, Egidio Arévalo Ríos and Walter Gargano will hold the midfield and shield the back four. Alvaro Pereira  and Diego Perez will provide width when they can. Edinson Cavani  will partner Diego Forlan up front in leading Uruguay’s attack.

Uruguay want to win this game bad and they have a great defence and are dangerous up front. They will put up a great fight and cannot be taken lightly.
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Ranking: 4

Netherlands are yet to lose a game in South Africa and dutch striker Wesley Sneijder is the joint-highest scorer at the World Cup. Oranje beat favourites Brazil 2-1 in their last match to progress to the quarterfinals. All these stats point to a very strong World Cup campaign so far and yet many still feel that Netherlands are still not in top gear. They definitely seem to be the team that will peak at absolutely the right time. They go into this game as favourites and are expected to beat Uruguay. However,  the same was expected of the Dutch in their Euro 2008 quarter- final match against Russia which they lost in extra time. Today, Netherlands must avoid complacency or once again it could become their undoing.

The Netherlands manager Bert van Marwijk, has a formidable record of 13 wins from 13 games in competitive matches and will want to keep it that way. He will be without the suspended Gregory van der Wiel and Nigel de Jong and will most likely replace them with Khalid Boulahrouz and Demy de Zeeuw. Luckily for Netherlands, Robin Van Persie’s elbow injury wasn’t serious and neither was Joris Mathijsen’s knee-problem and both of the players are expected to star in today match. Marwijk will most likely go with his favourite 4-2-3-1 formation with Maarten Stekelenburg in goal and John Heitinga, Joris Mathijsen, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Khalid Boulahrouz at the back. Demy De Zeeuw and Mark van Bommel will hold midfield for Holland. Robin Van Persie will play alone up-front with offensive midfielders Dirk Kuyt, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder behind him.

Netherlands will look to control the ball and the pace of the game with Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben making life very tough for the Uruguan defence while the Dutch defender John Heitinga will look to keep his former club mate from Athletico Madrid Diego Forlan from scoring for Uruguay.

Uruguay are without Luis Suarez and that tips the balance in Netherlands favour. However, Netherlands is without Nigel De Jong, whose tackles will be sorely (pun unintended!) missed. Netherlands must keep focus to win today.

Manager Speak

“We will certainly not throw in the towel before playing that match. Holland will be very difficult but not impossible.” – Oscar Tabarez, Uruguay manager

“Uruguay didn’t reach the final for nothing, so we have to really focus again and not think that we’re already there.”   – Bert van Warwijk, Netherlands manager

Stars to Watch Out For

Uruguay: Diego Forlan, Diego Perez, Edinson Cavani

Netherlands: Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Dirk Kuyt, Robin Van Persie

Go Figure!

These sides have met on four occasions in total, with Uruguay winning three matches and the Dutch one.

Three of Diego Forlán’s four goals in World Cup finals history have come from outside the box

Wesley Sneijder has now scored five goals in his last seven internationals

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World Cup Preview: Uruguay vs. Ghana

Three weeks ago, six African teams set out with high hopes for the host continent. Five have fallen by the side and left Ghana to fly the flag high for Africa. In the past, only two African teams (Cameroon in 1990 and Senegal in 2002), have ever reached the last eight let alone the Semi-Finals of the World Cup. A Ghana victory today will see history being created for the entire continent. Uruguay on the other hand have won the World Cup twice but they have failed to reach the last eight for 40 years and their players are keen to change that.

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Ranking: 16

Uruguay, a country will only 3 million population and a crazy passion for football are often labelled as the Minnows of South America. They won their last World Cup in 1930 and their President famously remarked “other countries have their history, Uruguay have their football.” That is how much Uruguay love their football and today, they take on a team which they will feel they have a great chance of defeating. Oscar Tabarez will most likely go with his tried and tested 4-4-2 formation with Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez leading their attack. Urguay’s defensive record in the World Cup has been very impressive and they have let in only 1 goal so far. Their defender Diego Godin however is injured will miss this match. He will, most likely, be replaced by Mauricio Victorinio. He along with Jorge Fucile, Diego Lugano and Maximiliano Pereira will form Uruguay’s back four. In the midfield, Tabarez will depend on Egidio Arévalo Ríos, Alvaro Fernandez who is expected to replace Alvaro Pereira  and Diego Perez to provide width when they can along with Edinson Cavani.

Luis Suarez has been in great form and has scored three times in four games for Uruguay. He will keep Ghana defender Issac Vorsah who is returning from injury very busy,who will have his work cut out for him in trying to contain the exuberant striker especially since Ghana’s experienced defender Johnathan Mensah is suspended for today’s game.

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Ranking: 32

BaGhana, BaGhana! No one gave them a chance when Michael Essien was ruled out of the World Cup due to injury. However, Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Kwadwo Asamoah, Anthony Annan and Dede Ayew have shown us cynics just how stupid we were to rule out the Black Stars. Ghana play a typical fast-paced, physical African game. But Ghana also have creativity through Kevin-Prince Boateng which is sometimes seen lacking in other African teams. Their hard work in strengthening their defence ever since they lost Michael Essien seems to be paying off. Milovan Rajevac’s will be without many of his key players today. Jonathan Mensah and Andre Ayew are both suspended for today’s match due to picking up their second yellow cards of the tournament last time out.

Captain John Mensah is still struggling to get fit and did not train with team, however he is expected to start today. Kevin-Prince Boateng could also miss out on today’s game due to a hamstring injury and could be replaced by Rahim Ayew or Derek Boateng.

Rajevac will, most likely, go with a 4-3-5 formation with Kingson in goal and John Pantsil, Johnathan Mensah, Issac Vorsah and Hans Sarpei forming Ghana’s back four. Sully Muntari who has so far been used only as a substitute in South Africa will start for  Ghana in midfield along with Samuel Inkoom, Anthony Annan, Kwadwo Asamoah and Derek Boateng. The Rennais striker Asamoah Gyan and Rahim Ayew will, most likely,lead Ghana’s attack up front.

Uruguay are strong at the back and have the best forwards in the competition at par with the likes of Brazil and Argentina. Ghana’s defense on the other hand has never been very strong and today they are without some key players. This tips the balance too much in favour of the South Americans.

Manager Speak

“If we win tomorrow the only sides that will have done more than us are the great World Cup champions.” – Oscar Tabarez, Uruguay manager

“We have no obligation but still we want to use this opportunity to do our best and to make history. We are not thinking of pressure.” – Milovan Rajevac, Ghana manager

Stars To Watch Out For

Uruguay: Diego Forlan, Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani

Ghana: Asamoah Gyan, Kwadwo Asamoah, Richard Kingson

Go Figure!

This is the first full international between these two teams

All three of Diego Forlán’s World Cup goals are against African nations

Asamoah Gyan requires one more goal to match Roger Milla’s African record of five World Cup goals.

Uruguay have conceded one goal in this World Cup

No African side has ever won a World Cup knock-out match without the game going to extra-time

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