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FIFA World Cup 2018 player watch: Luis Suarez - Forget the bite, enjoy the fight

Luis Suarez of Uruguay after biting Italys Giorgio Chiellini during the 2014 World Cup

Bengaluru, June 11: Lionel Messi of Argentina, Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Brazil's Neymar will be the biggest stars to watch out for during the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, which gets underway on June 14.

However, the World Cup is not just about them. There are plenty of other stars who will set the World Cup stage on fire with their dazzling runs and insane goals or blocks.

FIFA World Cup page | Fixtures | Groups and points table

In this daily series, MyKhel features the other top stars you have to watch out for in Russia.

This segment is about Luis Suarez, Barcelona and Uruguay forward.

Luis Suarez is a prolific goalscorer who will do anything to win. He could even bite you - just ask Giorgio Chiellini of Italy. He was handed a nine-match ban and was even reminded not to repeat the biting incident by a young fan before Uruguay's departure for Russia 2018. Although it was not the first biting incident involving the 31-year-old, he has definitely moved on from the 2014 World Cup episode and is a matured player now, making him more deadly in front of the goal.

His stats after 2014 say it all - 32 goals in 52 appearances for Barcelona (2017/18), 38 strikes in 53 matches (2016/17), 67 goals in 70 games for both Barcelona and Uruguay in the 2015/16 season and just after the World Cup, he managed 25 strikes in 41 appearances. This translates to roughly 152 goals in 198 appearances for Barcelona for El Pistolero.

Special striker

Even in Russia, Suarez is expected to lead the attack for Uruguay along with Edinson Cavani, who is famous for his goalscoring skill in the Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

What makes Suarez special is that he knows where to be at the right time. He's faster than your average defender too and that helps him lurk behind defenders and then emerge out of nowhere for converting crosses. Over the last four years, Suarez has also developed into a great dribbler thanks to the system in Barcelona. While in Liverpool Suarez only played a finisher, under Luis Enrique's Barcelona, Suarez was expected to provide assists to Neymar and Lionel Messi from inside the box. Suarez adapted to the role quite well and this will come of help in the World Cup considering Cavani is a similar player.

Moreover, Suarez has a good balance of physicality and technical brilliance. He can ward off defenders like Diego Costa but also fire goals like Neymar.

Fighter on the field

Suarez will not give opposition defenders an easy time. Nope, not one bit against his Group A opponents Egypt, Russia and Saudi Arabia. He likes to expose the defence with his timely runs into the box, which also help him find rebounds. Many of Suarez goals are scored off rebounds and even that's a talent as you have to judge before where the ball would land after a block.

Redemption time

Suarez would personally like to send a message to the world during the outing in Russia, something which could read "Don't judge me for what happened with Chiellini." He shares a great camaraderie with Cavani and despite his achievements, is a humble man off the pitch.

He's someone you should definitely look out for.

Watch Suarez in action:

vs Egypt at 5.30 pm IST on June 15 (Ekaterinburg)

vs Saudi Arabia at 8.30 pm IST on June 20 (Rostov-on-Don)

vs Russia at 7.30 pm IST on June 25 (Samara)

Other featured stars: Kevin de Bruyne (Belgium), Kylian Mbappe (France), David de Gea (Spain), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Toni Kroos (Germany), Luka Modric (Croatia), Gabriel Jesus (Brazil

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    Story first published: Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 13:42 [IST]
    Other articles published on Jun 12, 2018
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