Barcelona took a big risk by adding Luis Suarez this summer, but a recent ruling will make his stay with the club much better.
Over the past few seasons at Liverpool, the forward proved to be one of the top goalscorers in the world. However, it is impossible to overlook his other actions, which were on display at the World Cup. Playing for Uruguay, Suarez bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini, marking the third such incident in his professional career.
The 27-year-old player was handed a four-month ban from all football, although that did not stop Barcelona from purchasing the star for a reported £75 million, per BBC Sport. It seems the club could not resist the possibility of putting him next to Lionel Messi, Neymar and others in a terrifying attack.
Although the club will still have to wait to see him play a match, a recent change in the ruling will make a major difference for the upcoming season. According to ESPN FC, the ban was upheld, but Suarez will be allowed to train with the club in the meantime:
This ability to practice with the squad will be extremely helpful. The first big difference is that the player's confidence is much higher by simply getting onto the pitch. In an interview on Barcelona's team channel, Suarez explained," I am really happy to feel like a footballer again, and to be with my teammates. I just couldn’t wait to get started."
For a player who plays with so much emotion, taking the sport away from him for four months could be close to a death sentence. By the time he returned, he would not have been in the right mental state to play at a high level.
This is not as big of a change as the physical side of the deal. While nothing could stop him from working out on his own to gain fitness, it is a completely different situation when you are playing in a team atmosphere. He would have needed at least a few weeks to get into playing shape once he arrived at Camp Nou.
With this change, Suarez will be able to join the starting lineup as soon as he is eligible, as Bleacher Report's Will Tidey and Sam Tighe point out:
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Still, the most important difference is the ability to gain chemistry with his new teammates. Many players at Barcelona have been competing together for a long time. Neymar posted some good numbers in his first year, but even he struggled to link up with his new teammates on many occasions.
You can imagine how bad the disconnect would become if a player joined the squad in the middle of the season.
Fortunately, Barcelona do not have to see this scenario. As the club showcased, he has already joined the team in training:
He has a chance to get to know the players personally while gaining a better connection on the pitch. Over the next few weeks, veterans like Andres Iniesta and Xavi will realize how good the forward is, and they will not be able to wait to get him the ball in a real match.
No matter where Barcelona sits in the table, they will feel confident in getting a boost from the return of Suarez to provide immediate offense.
While people like Diego Forlan might have thought FIFA's originally punishment was "excessive," via beIN Sports, the four-month ban was perfectly justified for the actions. That being said, this amendment allows the player to return at full strength immediately and not turn the suspension into a five-month period or more.
This will pay off immensely during the 2014-15 season for both Suarez and Barcelona.
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