Leg-breaking tackle is worse than Suarez bite

Leg-breaking tackle is worse than Suarez bite
Uruguay's forward Luis Suarez and Italy's defender Giorgio Chiellini.

My colleague Neil Humphreys says that Luis Suarez took a chunk of Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder. Knowing Neil, he is being facetious.

The bite left a slight bruise that should be gone before long. But almost everyone is now out to get their pound of flesh from the Uruguayan striker.

With Suarez, there's no middle ground. You either love him (if you are Uruguayan or a Liverpool supporter) or hate him (practically everyone else, but more so if you are English and don't support Liverpool).

So the outrage over his latest biting incident is not unexpected. He's now done it three times in four years. How dare he? Real men don't bite.

That is the domain of children having a dust-up in the playground.

On the football pitch, real men swing their elbows at or head-butt opponents.

And if you were feeling vengeful, as Roy Keane was against Alf-Inge Haaland, you go in feet flying with a career-threatening tackle. Haaland retired soon after, though it remains unclear how much that was due to Keane's tackle.

As far as we know, Suarez's three bite victims are still playing, presumably unscarred from their encounter with his chompers.

In 2010, while playing for Ajax Amsterdam, Suarez sank his fangs into the shoulders of Otman Bakkal, then of PSV Eindhoven, for which he got a sevenmatch ban.

Then the Liverpool player bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic's arm last year, incurring a 10-match ban this time.

He returned from the ban apparently chastened and a changed man. He was on his best behaviour, said the right things and, most importantly, scored the goals that took Liverpool within a whisker of the English Premier League title.

He was voted the Player of the Year by both his peers and football writers.

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