The trade-off in having Luis Suárez on a team has always been for every person he bites, black player he racially abuses, or referee he headbutts, he’ll score at least a couple dozen goals to make up for all of that shithousery. But it appears that as he’s reached his 30s, the playing abilities that allowed many supporters, teammates and managers to ignore those actions have begun to fade. It’s a poor form that started with a relatively down-year in Barcelona, continued onto the international stage and now more or less resulted in his team getting knocked out of this year’s Copa América.
The quarterfinal match between Uruguay and Peru ended with the score tied 0-0 in regulation and went straight to penalties—recent procedure in the tournament has been to skip extra time entirely. Given that he’s the best player currently on his national team, Luis Suárez stepped up to take the first penalty for Uruguay. The 32-year-old fired a powerful shot to his left, only for the ball to hit Peruvian keeper Pedro Gallese straight into the abdomen for a save.
Under circumstances that more typically surround penalty shootouts, this wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world, but unfortunately for him, all nine of the penalties taken by both Peruvian and Uruguayan players hit the back of the net. As a result, Suárez’s miss was pretty much the main reason why they lost that game.
The ironic thing is that Suárez was almost the hero of the game. In the 73rd minute of regulation, he appeared to score the opening goal—which likely would have been the only one given the pace of play—but was ruled offside.
Of course, if that goal had counted it would have gone against the spirit of the game given how much shithousery he’s put together in this tournament, particularly in his game against Chile.
As someone who is sick of Chile winning this damn tournament, it brings me no joy to say something in support of them, and yet Suárez is such an asshole that I have no choice but to take their side in this. I hate it, and am glad that he’s out, but given his track record with other countries, I can’t imagine I’m alone in this sentiment.
But perhaps the best news is that two semifinal games for this tournament are Peru vs. Chile, a heated cultural rivalry that goes back decades and almost led to war once, and Brazil vs. Argentina, a battle of two South American soccer giants.