Porto Alegre: Barred from soccer for the next four months for biting an opponent and obliged to leave his team in the midst of the World Cup, Luis Suarez arrived home in Uruguay before sunrise Friday and was met with cheers and a presidential hug on the tarmac.
Jose Mujica, Uruguay's president, had already made one trip to Montevideo's Carrasco International Airport, along with hundreds of other Uruguayans, with the intent of greeting Suarez and his family. But as the hours passed with no sign of Suarez's charter flight, the 79-year-old Mujica left the premises, only to return when the plane finally did land in the capital about 5:30 a.m.
"We gave him a humble hug on behalf of the Uruguayan people and invited him to continue living, learning and fighting," Mujica said on Uruguayan radio later in the day, speaking of himself in the first person plural. "At 5:30, we were there with his family, greeting him on a cold morning, but all of us with warm hearts, united as a society.