Goals, biting, bans, a big-money transfer—it’s safe to say that Luis Suarez has been up to his usual headline-grabbing antics this summer.
After his initial ban of being out of all forms of football for four months was lifted for non-competitive fixtures, Barcelona were finally able to unveil their star man in the Gamper Trophy clash with Leon on Monday, as Sky Sports Football revealed:
31 days after signing for Barcelona, Luis Suarez is presented in front of the Nou Camp. Watch Barca at 7.30pm, SS5: pic.twitter.com/cRh4lVjGHO— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) August 18, 2014
However, fans were made to wait even longer before seeing the £75 million man in action, as Suarez started the game as a substitute, per broadcaster Ian Abrahams:
Luis Suarez is on the bench tonight for Barcelona's friendly v Leon in the Nou Camp— Ian Abrahams (Moose) (@BroadcastMoose) August 18, 2014
The wait continued deep into the second half, but with 70 minutes on the clock and Barca in a comfortable 4-0 lead, the Nou Camp finally got a glimpse of the Uruguayan as he came out to warm up:
His preparation seemed to last for an age with eager home fans longing to see their new striker in action, and manager Luis Enrique finally gave them their wish by sending the star on 5 minutes later, as BBC Sport revealed:
Luis Suarez has just come on to make his Barcelona debut against Leon. The Spanish side lead 4-0 pic.twitter.com/kQuPpotSwh— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 18, 2014
Suarez had just 15 minutes to show fans what parting with a small fortune can get you in football, and while his movement was at its usual high level, he couldn’t cap his dream day with a goal.
Not that Barcelona needed the Uruguayan’s brilliance in front of goal, though, as they romped to an impressive 6-0 victory:
That's it! The ref blows for full time on the 90 minutes and Luis Enrique gets a 6-0 win in his Camp Nou debut#fcblive— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 18, 2014
Maybe that got Suarez feeling a little jealous that he couldn’t get involved in the scoring action, as beIN Sports’ Andres Cordero noted just how miserable the 27-year-old appeared:
When was the last time anyone saw Luis Suárez smile?— Andres Cordero (@DreCordero) August 18, 2014
Twitter was swamped with questions as to how Suarez was playing while being in the middle of a ban, including former footballer Mark Bright:
A few days ago Luis Suarez couldn't even train with Barcelona, tonight he made his debut in a friendly whilst still banned. #confusing— Mark Bright (@Mark__Bright) August 18, 2014
It’s not as if the Uruguayan being on the pitch will be a sight for fans to get used to, though, as competitive football beginning means the sidelines will be Suarez’s home for the next few months—something that journalist Cristian Nyari commented on:
Luis Suarez. Get ready, folks. Won't see him again for a while.— Cristian Nyari (@Cnyari) August 18, 2014
Suarez’s first match couldn’t possibly come on a bigger occasion, as he’ll be donning the famous red and blue shirt again for the first El Clasico of the season on Oct. 26.
The Uruguayan was criticised for going missing against bigger opponents for Liverpool last term, but on the biggest club stage of them all with a point to prove, the wrath of Suarez may give Los Blancos a lot to think about.