Sports / Soccer

Suarez, Neymar play 1st game since WCup exits

(Agencies) Updated: 2014-08-19 09:57


Suarez, Neymar play 1st game since WCup exits

FC Barcelona's players (L-R) Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi smile during their presentation at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona , August 18, 2014. FC Barcelona will play against Mexican club Leon FC for the Joan Gamper Trophy. [Photo/Agencies]

BARCELONA, Spain - Luis Suarez and Neymar played their first match since their memorable exits from the World Cup on Monday, with the Brazil star scoring two goals to help Barcelona rout Mexican champion Leon 6-0 in a preseason friendly at Camp Nou.

The last time Suarez played he infamously bit an Italian opponent at the World Cup, earning him a four-month ban from competitive matches.

Suarez, who has since transferred to Barcelona from Liverpool, was cheered by his new fans during the team's presentation and went on as a substitute in the 75th minute to another round of applause.

Neymar hadn't played since fracturing a vertebra 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 friendly and showed no signs of the injury.

Neymar set up Lionel Messi's third-minute opener before adding goals in the 12th and 44th. He was substituted at halftime before Barcelona youth forwards Munir El Haddadi scored in the 54th and the 77th and Sandro Ramirez added another in the 89th.

Suarez and Neymar were both greeted warmly when introduced along with the rest of their teammates. The Uruguay forward even received a smattering of ``Suarez! Suarez!'' from some supporters, whose enthusiasm for the new signing was only exceeded by that shown for Messi.

While Neymar shone in his return, Suarez was limited to just a few touches of the ball in his 15 minutes. He had his first practice with Barcelona on Friday, a day after the Court of Arbitration for Sport softened his ban.

Both of Barcelona high-profile's forwards featured in two of the most remarkable moments of this summer's World Cup.

Neymar was on the receiving end of a collision with Colombia defender Juan Camillo Zuniga in a 2-1 quarterfinal win that left him writhing in pain with a fractured back.

Suarez, on the other hand, was the aggressor when he sunk his teeth into Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder on June 24, earning the bad-tempered Uruguayan his third career suspension for biting an opponent.

On Thursday, the CAS lessened his FIFA-imposed suspension to allow Suarez to practice and play friendlies for Barcelona following his ?97-million ($130 million) move.

Monday's friendly will likely be the last match Suarez plays before his ban runs out on Oct. 25.

Barcelona opens the Spanish league against Elche on Sunday.

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