Luis Suarez has a self-inflicted period of reflection ahead of him and the Uruguay forward must use it wisely.
No stranger to controversy, the prodigiously talented Liverpool star sent shockwaves around the football world on Tuesday - the television images of him sinking his teeth into Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the closing stages of a qualification-clinching FIFA World Cup Group D win are already grimly infamous.
A four-month ban from all football activity will hit his club side particularly hard and Liverpool might be forgiven for thinking they are back to square one following a sensational year on the field from Suarez.
The 27-year-old was absent at the start of last season as he completed a 10-match suspension for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, a ban covering two games more than the eight he was forced to sit out having racially abused Manchester United full-back Patrice Evra in December 2011.
Yet Suarez returned to a winning side and 31 goals in 33 Premier League games secured him the PFA and Football Writers' player of the year awards, taking the Anfield outfit to the brink of the title.
Brendan Rodgers and his staff were rightly lauded for their part in this apparent rehabilitation but they must now do without their talisman for their opening nine Premier League matches in the new season and the first half of their UEFA Champions League group campaign.
Uruguay are left similarly in the lurch. They suffered a lacklustre 3-1 opening World Cup loss to Costa Rica before Suarez returned from injury to sink England with two goals. It will be hard for boss Oscar Tabarez to relish Saturday's last-16 clash with in-form Colombia.
The two-time world champions' defence of their Copa America crown next year will also be severely impacted by the player's nine-match ban from competitive internationals.
But where now for Suarez himself?
"Before the game, too many people in England laughed about my attitude over the last few years," he said after sending England to a 2-1 defeat last week.
'This is a very good time for me. I want to see what they think now."
This emotional post-match interview painted a picture of a man who, despite being found guilty of racist abuse toward a fellow professional and biting three others, sees himself as the victim. Unfortunately, he has received encouragement to take this viewpoint.
After biting PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal in 2010, Suarez found a way out of Ajax to Liverpool. In the immediate aftermath of the Evra incident, Liverpool - led by then manager Kenny Dalglish - warmed up in specially made shirts supporting Suarez. He then neglected to shake the United man's hand before a heated February 2012 FA Cup tie.
Similarly, Uruguay captain Diego Lugano led an impassioned defence of his team-mate this week, lambasting the English media in the process.
Support from colleagues at club and international level has been partly understandable. Why not bend over backwards to ensure a brilliant match-winner keeps delivering the goods?
But this latest unsavoury episode means public support must disappear, especially from those who have an interest in Suarez remaining a star of world football.
The most productive thing Suarez can do with his four months off is to accept that, once again, it is his fault and his fault alone. And no one should tell him otherwise.
|Madrid have best kids stockpiled – Simeone|
|Guardiola backs Stones to get even better|
|Ibrahimovic will start with bench role, says Mourinho|
|Injections to play a friendly – Mourinho slams England over Jones handling|
|Championship Review: Sheffield United go top|
|Schurrle: Dortmund couldn´t deal with Stuttgart counter-attacks|
|Conte laments Italy World Cup failure|
|Amiens 1 Monaco 1: Jovetic rescues point but champions give PSG boost|
|Stuttgart 2 Borussia Dortmund 1: Bosz pressure builds after more Burki mishaps|
|Sunderland target Coleman steps down as Wales manager|
|Conte´s wife tells him to grow a beard – Conte grows a beard|
|Simeone rules out Everton job, promising ´a couple of years at least´ at Atletico|
|Pique to miss Barcelona´s Leganes trip over personal matter|
|UEFA closes Roma ´monkey chanting´ case|
|Don´t worry about Messi renewal, Valverde tells Barcelona fans|
|´Griezmann? We´ll see´ – Valverde won´t rule out Barcelona pursuit of Atletico star|
|Unsworth surprised to see Allardyce snub Everton|
|Mourinho has ´immense respect´ for Benitez|
|Howe backs Defoe to make World Cup squad|
|Everton speculation out of my control - Silva focusing on Hornets|
|Conte concerned by Manchester City´s breakaway lead|
|Man City results ´perfect´, but Guardiola demands improvement|
|David Luiz back in Chelsea squad, Conte confirms|
|Recovered Klopp offers Liverpool fitness update|
|Guardiola confident Aguero in ´perfect´ condition despite hospital trip|
|Ibrahimovic, Pogba and Rojo back for Manchester United|
|Heynckes compiling list of potential successors|
|Modric & Carvajal fit for Madrid derby|
|Bayern begin talks over Wagner deal|
|Pulis angered as Chadli sidelined for ´foreseeable future´|
|Neymar to join Ronaldo at Real Madrid? Zidane speaks out on PSG star|
|Guardiola & Sane complete Man City award double|
|Brave Chapecoense secure top-flight status|
|Tottenham have overtaken Arsenal as north London´s best - Sherwood|
|Brisbane Roar 3 Melbourne City 1: Papadopoulos at the double as hosts finally win|
|Seaman: Wenger must start Lacazette against Tottenham|
|I am more than just a goal machine - Ronaldo ignores Real Madrid criticism|
|Skriniar not interested in Barcelona speculation|
|France need Benzema, says Aulas|
|Van Dijk could leave Southampton in January|
|Sanchez snubbed Barcelona switch - Osorio|
|Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid: Simeone and Zidane face dangerous, defining Derbi|
|Aubameyang baffled by Dortmund suspension|
|Pochettino lauds Wenger longevity as he eyes 20 years at Spurs|
|Ronaldo: Real Madrid don´t fear PSG|
|Zenit´s Mancini not thinking about Italy job|
|Wenger advises Pochettino to fight the ´fear´ of winning trophies|
|Ronaldo: I want seven Ballons d´Or... and seven children!|
|Howedes ready for long-awaited Juventus debut|
|Bayern´s Wagner interest confirmed by Nagelsmann|
|Dyche ´amazed´ at persistent Everton talk|
|Manchester United post record first-quarter revenues|
|Hodgson confident Benteke will be fit for Everton clash, unsure over Loftus-Cheek|
|Klopp returns to Liverpool training after hospital visit|
|Moreno urges Coutinho to reject Barcelona switch|
|Hamsik refuses to be distracted by Maradona record|
|CAS rejects Adrien Silva´s appeal|
|Aubameyang dropped by Dortmund for ´disciplinary reasons´|
|Aguero declares himself fit to face Leicester City|
|If Griezmann isn´t committed, he should leave – Koke|
|Knee surgery to sideline PSG´s Motta|
|Kane the same as Lewandowski, Eboue proclaims|
|Let Neymar focus on football - Emery|
|Spurs quartet return but Alderweireld set for longer absence|
|Ibrahimovic eyes different role on Manchester United return|
|Transfer target Messi was beyond Manchester City, says Robinho|
|´Ultimate defender´ Zouma one of Premier League´s best, claims Shawcross|
|Cantona baffled by Neymar´s PSG move|
|Loftus-Cheek must return to Chelsea, says Willian|
|Central Coast Mariners 1 Adelaide United 2: Kitto snatches dramatic win|
|Cazorla´s fitness woes the worst injury Wenger has known|
|Wenger trusts Lacazette completely|
|Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid: Demolition derbies, Raul´s revenge and other memorable capital clashe|
|Mourinho: Ibrahimovic will return in 2017|
|Spain and England at risk as World Cup draw pots confirmed|
|Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo, King of El Derbi|
|Gareca: World Cup spot is for the Peruvian people|
|World Cup: The 32 qualified teams|
|Peru 2 New Zealand 0 (2-0 agg): South Americans qualify for World Cup after 36-year wait|
|Ronaldo congratulates Corinthians on seventh Brazilian title|
|Van Dijk focused ahead of Liverpool clash – Pellegrino|
|Ravanelli: I´d bend over backwards to bring back Conte|