Juventus and Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini has this afternoon opened up on the infamous biting incident between he and Luis Suarez at the 2014 World Cup.
Moment of madness
As has since become one of the most iconic moments in the recent history of the World Cup, Suarez was caught on camera biting the shoulder of opponent Chiellini during a Group D clash between Uruguay and Italy in 2014.
Though the now-Barcelona man managed to escape punishment during the fixture, he was later slapped with the biggest international ban in World Cup history (9 games), eclipsing the previous record of Italy’s Mauro Tassotti for a brutal elbow on Spain’s Luis Enrique 20 years earlier, and didn’t appear again for the South Americans for nearly 2 years.
Suarez was also banned for the opening 9 fixtures of the La Liga season (he made the switch to the Camp Nou from Liverpool that summer), and was not allowed to enter any football stadium for the duration of his sanction.
Speaking in an interview with Spanish outlet El Mundo earlier today, Chiellini was asked for his thoughts on the hefty punishment handed down to Suarez, with the Italian stopper, long renowned for his class off the pitch, revealing his opinion that FIFA’s ruling was ‘over the top’:
‘I have met him since on the pitch and it was a pleasure, as he is a great forward and it always means a challenge. I would like to swap jerseys with him. His punishment was a pity, not being able to enter the stadiums was over the top. It was just to give an example because of the World Cup.’