Suarez defends decision to block Ghana's chances of reaching 2010 WC semis

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The Uruguayan striker prevented the Black Stars from becoming the first African side to reach World Cup semis

Barcelona forward Luis Suarez has revealed what was going through his mind during and after his infamous handball for Uruguay in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Fifa World Cup against Ghana.

The 30-year-old, then with Ajax, handled Dominic Adiyiah’s goal-bound header in the dying embers of the extra-time with the game still tied at 1-1.

Ghana were awarded a penalty and Suarez sent off but Asamoah Gyan failed to score from the spot, as the Black Stars got eliminated after losing the penalty shootouts 4-2.

“The truth is, it was a bit of everything,” Suarez told The Players’ Tribune.

“Of being depressed, of being sad, of being sent off. Because we were going to lose, but if they weren’t scoring that goal we weren’t going to lose [so I was right to block it].

“You get up within 30 seconds when he takes the penalty kick, the satisfaction of taking a risk in a situation of which I have been blamed for anti-fair play. However, the Ghana player missing the penalty is not my fault,” he said.

He added: “I didn’t kick anyone or anything like that, that’s why I think that I celebrated like that, for having taken a risk for something that was worth it.

"And I remember that I celebrated it more than a goal. I left screaming and went to the locker room to watch the penalty kicks (in the shootout). And, the truth is, it was painful watching the penalty kicks in the locker room.”

Suarez also insisted that they could have progressed to the final of the tournament if Jorge Fucile, who was banned for multiple yellow cards, and injured Diego Lugano had played in the semi-final against Netherlands.

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“It’s easy to talk now, but yeah, if we would have played the semi-final against Holland with Diego Lugano, who in that moment was spectacular, Jorge Fucile, I believe, the best left wing-back of the World Cup, and me, who had been suspended.

“If the three of us would have played, it would have been different,” he added.


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