Luis Suarez came off the bench to make his first appearance for Barcelona in a 6-0 thrashing of Leon in Monday night’s friendly match at the Camp Nou. Thirty-one days after he signed for the club, Suarez ran out on the pitch to great applause as he was finally unveiled as a Barcelona player in the pre-match build-up.
The 27-year-old, who was cleared to make his debut in the friendly by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, despite currently serving a four-month ban from competitive football for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the FIFA World Cup™, was named on the bench.
Suarez is not permitted to take part in a competitive match until 26 October, when Barça face Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in the first Clasico of the season. However, the sanctions against the striker were relaxed so he is not banned from friendly games, training, promotional activities and administrative matters.
As expected, Barcelona dominated the match and were four goals to the good thanks to Lionel Messi’s third minute opener, a first-half brace by Neymar and Munir El Haddadi’s 55th-minute effort by the time Suarez was introduced in the 77th minute.
The £75m signing replaced Rafina to a huge ovation and no sooner had he joined the action another goal was added, but it was not from the boot of the Uruguay striker but a second for El Haddadi. Sandro then wrapped up the win with the sixth goal in the 90th minute.