FIFA suspended Uruguay’s Luis Suarez for four months and nine international matches after biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in last week’s World Cup match in Brazil.
The suspension eliminated Suarez from the tournament and more than likely contributed to Uruguay’s 2 – 0 loss yesterday to Columbia.
With all the international media attention focusing on Suarez’s biting incident, it should be noted that the Uruguayan striker is not the first FIFA player known to chew up his opponents.
Let’s take a look at a rugged defender who metaphorically devoured his opponents on the pitch. His tenacious play would make Suarez’s gnawing seem like a mosquito bite.
Starting as an unintentional, mis-quoted sound bite (no pun intended!) in the press evolved into one of the soccer’s most menacing nicknames.
Purportedly, Boulahrouz once remarked that he would eat up an opponent raw. His metaphoric comment immediately stuck and quickly morphed into the horrifying nickname for an otherwise outstanding football player.
Although The Cannibal makes for an eerie nickname, Boulahrouz’s talent for tenacious play and hard tackling style made him a fan favorite. In two German Bundesliga seasons, Boulahrouz amassed an uncommonly high 16 yellow cards and three red cards. However, his Hamburg club only allowed a paltry 30 goals in 34 matches, and he was instrumental in anchoring the Bundesliga’s stingiest defense.
The fast, fearless and versatile Khalid Boulahrouz has earned his reputation as a talented, staunch defender who would routinely eat up any would-be opponents on the soccer pitch.
Unlike the disgraced Luis Suarez, Boulahrouz may not have come back home to a hero’s welcome, personally greeted by his country’s President or been involved in a potential 80 million British Pound transfer from Liverpool to Barcelona.
But, the fearless Dutch defender should always be remembered as an exceptional player – one who unwittingly deserves the threatening nickname – The Cannibal.
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