When Barcelona files out later this evening at the Amsterdam Arena to take on Ajax of Amsterdam, it will mark the return of Luis Suarez to the very ground where it all began. In 2010 during one of his last actions for Ajax who was then the Dutch champions Luis Suarez bit Otman Bakkal on the shoulder during a scoreless draw with PSV at the Amsterdam Arena on November 20, 2010.
According to Goal.com “The incident escaped the attention of referee Bjorn Kuipers, but the cameras were less forgiving and he was handed a seven-game suspension. On top of that, his reputation took a hammering, with leading newspaper De Telegraaf infamously referring to Suarez as “The cannibal of Ajax”.
Former team-mate Nicolai Boilesen – the only member of the current Ajax squad who was a first-team player during Suarez’s time at the club – has largely fond memories of the prolific forward but acknowledges the extra baggage he brought with him.
“Luis scored a lot of goals, but he was a bit special, too,” Boilesen told Tipsbladet earlier this week.
“He got plenty of attention in the Dutch press after the incident with Bakkal. But the press only really had a go at him when he did it again in England. That incident probably got four or five times as much attention as the one in Holland.
“But he also took on a lot of responsibility on the pitch. He was incredibly important for the team. He was always very dangerous inside the opponents’ area.”
There have been several notorious incidents involving Suarez since he left Ajax for Liverpool in January 2011. There was the racism row with Patrice Evra, another biting incident with Branislav Ivanovic and a third biting case involving Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup this summer.