Suarez hints at handball repeat
Uruguay star Luis Suarez hinted he would have no issue with repeating his infamous deliberate handball if required against England.
Suarez played no part in Uruguay’s shock 3-1 FIFA World Cup defeat to Costa Rica on Saturday, which came just hours before Italy beat England 2-1 in Group D’s other fixture.
Early defeats means the stakes have risen for both sides ahead of Thursday’s clash in Sao Paulo and Suarez suggested he would have no problem with being the villain again – as long as it benefited his team-mates.
The striker stopped Ghana from being the first African side to reach the World Cup semi-finals with a deliberate handball in the last minute of extra time in 2010, to deny Dominic Adiyiah a dramatic winner.
Suarez was sent off as a result, but Asamoah Gyan hit the bar from the resulting penalty, before Uruguay won a dramatic penalty shoot-out.
When asked to reflect on the incident, an unrepentant Suarez said: “For me I didn’t do anything wrong.
“I sacrificed playing in a World Cup semi-final for my team-mates to have that chance.
“I didn’t injure anyone. It’s not something to feel bad about.”
Despite those comments, Suarez also declared his desire to shed himself of the “bad boy” tag he has carried in recent years.
The Liverpool man – who bagged an impressive 31 goals in 33 Premier League appearances last term – said hearing people criticise him has felt “awful” but insisted he has changed.
“I want to change the bad boy image that has stuck a bit because I don’t think I am at all how I am portrayed,” he added.
“It’s awful to hear and read what is said of you.
“I still fight for every ball, want to win every game and get upset when I lose. On the field sometimes passion overwhelms you and you do things you regret afterwards.
“But you have a chance to learn from these things.
“I think I have been a role model since last summer. I have been professional and I have this desire to forge ahead and play well, regardless of what is said to me.”