World Cup 2014: Luis Suarez Accused of Biting an Italian Player (Video)
The biggest news to come out of Uruguay's 1-0 victory over Italy wasn't the early exit of the former champions — it was Luis Suarez taking a bite out of a rival player.
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The Uruguayan striker clashed with Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in the 80th minute and then could clearly be seen digging his teeth into Chiellini's shoulder.
When no card was shown to Suarez by the referee, Chiellini furiously pulled down his jersey to show the bite marks in his flesh. Meanwhile, his attacker was spotted grabbing his teeth in pain!
See the GIF below of the Hannibal Lecter-style bite.
The aggressive chomping immediately sparked outrage around the world on social media, not merely because of the inappropriateness of the attack — but because it is the third such incident from Uruguay's star player.
Suarez, who also plays for Liverpool in the Premier League, appeared to bite Branislav Ivanovic during an April 2013 match against Chelsea, following which he was charged with violent conduct by the Football Association, fined an undisclosed sum by his club and received a 10-game ban.
In October 2011, he was fined 40,000 pounds and given an eight-match suspension for racial slurs, and back in November 2010 he was banned for seven games for his first biting incident.
The 27-year-old earned an estimated $10.5 million in 2013 and signed a $65 million deal with Liverpool in December, making him one of the highest-paid soccer players in the world, but on Tuesday morning before the Italy match he talked about a possible transfer to Barcelona.
However, his latest bad behavior could not only cause him to be out of the World Cup, but could also cost him tens of millions of dollars, predicted ESPN's Bob Ley.
On Tuesday, Twitter exploded with both shocked comments and amused memes — sparking the hashtag #cannibal — immediately after the whistle was blown on the match that ended Italy's World Cup dreams as Uruguay and Costa Rica both advance from Group D, and England goes home.
Even sports' most infamous biting victim, Evander Holyfield responded.
I guess any part of the body is up for eating.— Evander Holyfield (@holyfield) June 24, 2014
ESPN's Rachel Nichols already had a new nickname for Suarez.
Today is the 3rd time Uruguay's Luis Suarez has been accused of biting an opponent, which is why his occasional nickname is "The Cannibal"— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) June 24, 2014
Her ESPN colleague, Jeremy Schaap, saw the funny side with a witty quip.
Give Suarez his due. Some guys are all bark...— Jeremy Schaap (@JeremySchaap) June 24, 2014
Men in Blazers' Michael Barnes predicted a savaging in the press.
If Suarez thinks the English media are bad, not sure what he's going to make of the Italian media. They will savage him.— Michael Davies (@embassydavies) June 24, 2014
Russell Brand quickly chimed in.
Suarez! Your teeth are already prominent, stop biting people! It's like @GaryLineker attacking people with his ears.— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) June 24, 2014
A slew of creative memes compared Suarez to the vicious Silence of the Lambs character, Walking Dead's flesh-eating zombies, and some even suggested he needed a dog-cone.
The Walking Suarez pic.twitter.com/IKNZCLqw9k— GeniusFootball (@GeniusFootball) June 24, 2014
Suarez will have to wear this for the rest of the tournament pic.twitter.com/T1rYzTgNTa— Josh Gigante (@JoshGigante_) June 24, 2014
Luis Suarez is obviously a vampire. pic.twitter.com/obu7Wlcw4K— Professor Snape (@_Snape_) June 24, 2014
Search "Suarez" and look at all the photos. Great job, Twitter. pic.twitter.com/koLc2aYDgU— Chad Coleman (@HashtagChad) June 24, 2014
How Suarez sees every opponent's jersey: pic.twitter.com/oPgEPL9n38— DJ Gallo (@DJGalloEtc) June 24, 2014