Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has had his say on the latest incident involving Luis Suarez, saying he would rather be on the end of a bite than a leg-breaking tackle.
Barton is one of many figures within the footballing world to have their say on the incident, when the Liverpool striker appeared to bite Italian centre-half Girogio Chiellini on the shoulder in the second half as his Uruguay side won their final Group D game 1-0 to book their place in the last 16 against Colombia.
It looks unlikely that Suarez will play any part in that match, or the rest of the World Cup if they were to progress as FIFA have opened disciplinary proceedings against the striker.
Despite it being the third occasion that the 27-year-old has been involved in a biting incident, Barton took to twitter, saying: "All things considered I'd rather receive a bite than a leg breaking challenge. Whilst he should be punished, it is not the end of the world."
That tweet, along with others, feature below:
I love Suarez. I love his passion for the game. I would have him on my team everyday of the week. I am also aware you can't defend him here.— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) June 25, 2014
All things considered I'd rather receive a bite than a leg breaking challenge. Whilst he should be punished, it is not the end of the world.— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) June 25, 2014
He's a winner. If that means he occasionally steps over the line between right and wrong, than thats what comes with the territory...— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) June 25, 2014
A lot of people seem to be of the opinion that Suarez is one of the most gifted footballers on the planet but incidents like this let him down - and a lot of people are calling for a lengthy ban for the Uruguayan. Whether his ban would also include domestic matches remains to be seen.
Barton also states that the risk you take when playing that kind of player. Even if he does have the uglier traits in his game, to have him in your side for the quality, and sometimes the winning mentality, is so valuable.
He probably risks opening a can of worms saying what kind of injury/incident in a game is worse when it comes to his comments about challenges. It is likely that Suarez will receive a ban that is longer than a ban for a straight red card for a dangerous challenge would do, given that some challenger are unfortunate. This was a rather ugly moment of madness that wasn't even competing for the ball, and should never be seen on a football pitch rather than a mistimed challenge.