A crowd of over 70,000 turned up at Camp Nou to see the striker make his Barcelona debut, and they were not disappointed in the second half of the 6-0 thrashing of LeonLuis Suarez made his Barcelona bow in the annual Gamper friendly at Camp Nou on Monday night against Leon.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the striker's four-month ban for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup, but he was permitted to play in non-competitive games.
And with Barca cruising and the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar already on target in the first half, Suarez was given the nod by new coach Luis Enrique after the break.
|PERFORMANCE AGAINST LEON|
It took 76 minutes, but Suarez finally made his Barcelona bow against Leon, replacing Rafinha in the second half of the Gamper.
And he was nearly presented with a chance straight away as Sandro ran at the back four, but with the Uruguayan waiting inside the box, the youngster opted to pick out Munir El Haddadi, who bagged his second of the night to make it 5-0.
Suarez, largely operating on the left hand side of Barca's front three, looked eager for touches of the ball and dropped deep to collect passes, taking a couple of knocks from the uncompromising Leon defence in the process.
And despite his willingness to chase down defenders and link up midfield and attack, it was El Haddadi and Sandro who combined again to score the sixth and final goal, this time with the latter on target.
There were over 70,000 Barca fans in attendance - despite the Gamper being a friendly - and they greeted Suarez with a warm reception when he was finally introduced from the bench.
Due to the controversy which surrounds the Uruguayan after a string of incidents, there were question marks over how well received he might be by some sections of the Camp Nou crowd.
But there were no signs of any distaste for Suarez, who looks set to slot comfortably into the Barcelona front three.
With Suarez currently banned and relying on friendlies to see any match action, it was a little disappointing to see Lionel Messi and Neymar withdrawn - understandably - long before the Uruguayan was brought on.
And in truth, the striker was somewhat overshadowed by Sandro and Munir El Haddadi, who had long since hit their stride against a Leon side who were overrun and simply could not compete.
Nevertheless, Barca fans will be glad to have gotten a quick glimpse at their marquee summer signing.
|WILL HE START AGAINST ELCHE?|
No. Due to his ban, Suarez will not be involved in competitive action at all until after October 25. Barca's game the following day just happens to be against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
In fact, Barca will have to negotiate games against Elche, Villarreal, Athletic Bilbao, Levante, Malaga, Granada, Rayo Vallecano and Eibar - as well as the early stages of the Champions League - before Suarez can be involved.
With the talent on display at the Catalan club, there are no guarantees the former Liverpool striker will walk straight into the starting line-up at the Bernabeu, either.
But there is every chance Suarez - likely to be fresh after an extended break - will at the very least be in the squad for El Clasico.