We all know how sanctioning works in football matches. You get yellow and red cards for breaking the sport’s laws and accumulatively they result in more serious repercussions, such as fines and suspensions. So saying that picking up a booking for yourself is a “good thing” is likely to draw attention to you.
That’s exactly what Luis Suarez did on Sunday as Barcelona won 2-1 at Sevilla in an enthralling match. The Uruguayan – who scored the winner – was one of 10 players to pick up a yellow card at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, but his was particularly notable.
With just two minutes to go, Suarez directed a few too many choice words at the referee and subsequently flashed the yellow card in his direction.
Suarez’s yellow card means he will now be suspended for Barcelona’s home match against Malaga after the international break as that was his fifth La Liga booking of the season. With all due respect to Juande Ramos’ men, that’s a game Barca should never be losing, regardless of their main striker being absent.
What really caught peoples’ attention, however, was Suarez’s post-match interview.
“The yellow card was actually a good thing.
“I start with a clean slate again ahead of games away against Real Sociedad and versus Real Madrid.”
Suarez to Canal Plus.
[2/2] Suarez appeared to try and deliberately get himself booked towards the end of game to make sure he could play in Clasico. [sport]
— Barcastuff (@barcastuff_real) November 7, 2016
Suarez’s booking against Sevilla means that he will not have any threat of suspension (other than if he gets sent off) for two very tricky games against Real Sociedad – who beat Atletico Madrid on Saturday – and, of course, El Clasico against Real Madrid.
Suarez was cautioned for dissent after being fouled by Daniel Carrico. Both were arguably guilty of wrestling with one another, so it was not a huge surprise to see the Portugal defender escape without picking up a second yellow card.
But Suarez clearly thought he should have been dismissed.
Nevertheless, the former Liverpool star’s frank response after the match did little to kill suggestions that he picked up the sanction on purpose as a tactical ploy to get the suspension out of the way before El Clasico.