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Suarez finally makes Barcelona debut

ESPN staff
August 18, 2014
Luis Suarez came off the Barcelona bench © Getty Images

Luis Suarez made his long-awaited Barcelona debut after coming off the bench in their 6-0 pre-season friendly rout of Mexican champions Leon at the Nou Camp.

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.

Luis Suarez shares a joke with Thomas Vermaelen after being introduced to the Barcelona fans at the Nou Camp © Getty Images

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 for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup, was named on the bench.

Suarez is not permitted to take part in a competitive match until October 26, when Barca 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.

Neymar also played for the first time since his own dramatic World Cup exit, scoring twice.

The Brazilian hadn't played since fracturing a vertebra against Colombia during the World Cup on July 4, ruling him out of the rest of the tournament. He was deemed fit to play hours before the game against Leon.

As expected, Barcelona dominated the match and were four goals to the good thanks to Lionel Messi's third minute opener, a first-half double by Neymar and Munir El Haddadi's 55th-minute effort by the time Suarez was introduced in the 77th minute.

The £75 million man replaced Rafinha 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.

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