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Suarez controversy

Stekelenburg: Suarez the top 'keeper

July 5, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Maarten Stekelenburg has joked that Luis Suarez deserves the title of the World Cup's best goalkeeper following his infamous handball against Ghana, but is glad his Ajax team-mate will be suspended when Netherlands face Uruguay on Tuesday night.

Luis Suarez palms the ball clear
GettyImagesLuis Suarez palms the ball clear at the end of extra-time against Ghana

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Suarez is banned for the World Cup semi-final in Cape Town after his deliberate handball on the line in the dying seconds of extra-time against Ghana saved Uruguay from elimination at the quarter-final stage. Asamoah Gyan missed the subsequent penalty and Ghana were then defeated in a shootout.

Suarez has been under intense scrutiny since his red card, with debate raging as to whether he is a saviour of his country or a cynical cheat, and the forward himself has likened the incident to Diego Maradona's 'Hand of God' in 1986.

Stekelenburg says he has contacted Suarez to press his claims to be named the finest goalkeeper of the World Cup, but, from a serious perspective, is pleased to see Uruguay deprived of a man who has scored 55 goals in 62 games for club and country this season.

"I sent him a text message saying that he has been the best goalkeeper of the tournament," Stekelenburg told De Telegraaf. "I think he should get the Lev Yashin Award.

"The important matter is that he cannot play. It is a big thing because he is always a threat."