Classic Moments: Luis Suarez Makes ‘The Best Save Of The 2010 World Cup’ (His Words) To Send Ghana Packing

By Chris Wright

First of all, apologies are due as this was originally intended to go out as an ‘On This Day’ piece yesterday but yours truly completely bungled it. May the good Lord strike me asunder as penance for my sins.

Anyway, July 2nd – not 3rd – marked the fifth anniversary of the dark and stormy day that Luis Suarez truly ascended to the upper echelon of global sporting pantomime villainy.

‘Twas the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals. Uruguay versus Ghana in Johannesburg. 1-1. Both teams are flagging as the game ticks over into the 120th minute. Ghana sling a free-kick into the Uruguayan goal-mouth…

As is protocol in these situations, Suarez was sent-off for his crimes before spending the remainder of the match first visibly celebrating when Asamoah Gyan smacked the resulting spot-kick off the crossbar and then half-hiding, half-loitering at the entrance to the tunnel as the game went to penalties.

Almost inevitably, Uruguay came out on top in the shoot-out with the long, lank figure of Sebastian ‘Loco’ Abreu defying the pulsating pressure to dink home the winning penalty in louche style…

Soccer City erupted. Suarez charged out onto the pitch and celebrated like this…

Like nothing had happened.

“I made the save of the tournament,” Suarez quipped in the press zone after the game. “The ‘Hand of God’ now belongs to me!”

The ultimate heel. Ric Flair would be proud.

It’s undoubtedly his scrappy, win-at-absolutely-any-cost mentality that has dragged Suarez to the top of the mountain, but his sociopathic streak has also certainly lost him more than a few friends along the trail to the summit.

At least he’s never boring.

Posted in Featured, International football, Newsnow, Retro, Videos, World Cup

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  1. up44 says:

    the injustice still makes my stomach turn…

  2. Realist says:

    Of all the despicable things he has done in his life. This. This was the worst!
    You’ve ruined my Friday by publishing this piece. I’m seething.

  3. Murray says:

    @up44: What injustice? Suarez receiving a straight red and a penalty call being given?

    Suarez did what he had to do to keep his side alive, at the expense of getting himself expelled from the semi-finals and giving the side he prevented from scoring ANOTHER (and even BETTER) opportunity to take a lead. Don’t bitch and moan about how you feel about Suarez just because Ghana completely blew their gift of a second chance.

    There’s a lot anybody can criticize about Suarez, but this moment is probably the LEAST problematic thing he has ever done and actually ranks among his BEST on-field decisions–an exemplary tactical self-sacrifice in sport that still could have been for naught, except everything on the field after this happened worked in Uruguay’s favor. A great, great moment.

  4. Tony says:

    He got chastised cos of the Red card and the awarding of a penalty kick to his opponents. Justice was served but someone got denied by the woodwork and it wasn’t anybody’s fault.
    Luis is a great player and one of the worlds best.

  5. Mr Sensible says:

    This is why I think Suarez is great, adds to the whole spectacle of football. Plays the bad guy brilliantly and is entertaining every time you watch him.

    Football needs more Suarez’s.

  6. Moxey says:

    I’ve softened on this incident over the years. If an England player had done this, certain parts of the British media would hail it as a “selfless sacrifice” and probably portray them as a hero. Whilst Suarez did himself no favours with his celebrations afterwards, he did pretty much single-handedly (no pun intended) keep Uruguay in the tournament.

  7. Tommy says:

    There was no injustice in that,Suarez got punished to the fullest and Ghana got rewarded with the last penalty kick(last piece of action) and the guy fluffed it.

  8. Tomy says:

    It happens all the time,remember Diego’s hand of God that sent the Britts packing amidst the Falkland Battle and Tierry Henry hand of I don’t know that sent Ireland out of the W/cup qualifiers.
    Let it rest y’all!

  9. JJ says:

    Never mind that the free kick on this play came off the most blatant dive in the history of football. The fouling player was more that a meter away from the Ghana diver. Never mind that there were two Ghana players in an offside position. This was actually a case of instant karma for Ghana. Including the fact that the diver #18, missed his penalty in the shootout. The only injustice was the heavy price that Suarez played.

  10. Foran44 says:

    I’m so happy to see all the comments after realists one. Was gonna write a reply to it but, thankfully, everything I wanted to say has already been said.

    Yours truly,
    Liverpool fan who misses Suarez for what he did to the premier league as much as Liverpool!

  11. claudia says:

    In all sports the objective is to win. Suarez sacrificed himself to keep Uruguay alive in the tournament. Ghana lost their opportunity. The winner is the team who has the strength to pull the trigger in the most dire moment. No need for sour grapes. Champions need to bring heart, talent, sacrifice and desire to win.

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