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Almost half of Barcelona’s yellow cards are for protesting

Three of the four Barça club captains have been booked for disrepecting the match officials. Valverde feels there is no problem.

Almost half of Barcelona’s yellow cards are for protesting
Marta PérezEFE

Barcelona started LaLiga 2018/19 in decent shape, winning their first four games, but since then the’ve failed to pick up all three points in the next four: draws against Girona and Athletic Club at home and stalemate against Valencia away, and the defeat to Leganés at Butarque. The patchy form has led to doubts in the side, and also indiscipline, particularly in the form of protests at the referee, with almost half of Barcelona’s yellows coming from complaining to the main official.

Barcelona: six yellows for protesting

In the eight games they’ve played so far in LaLiga, Barcelona have picked up 13 yellows and a red, the latter for Clemente Lenglet’s elbow on Pere Pons (though the Girona player apologised for what he thought had been his own initial foul). Of these 13 bookings, six have been for protesting to the match officials, and three of those incidents involved club captains. Leo Messi and Sergio Busquets were booked against Athletic Club (1-1 at the Camp Nou) and Gerard Piqué against Girona. Messi had to be escorted away from the referee at the end of the Athletic match as he continued to harangue the official.

Messi protests
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Messi protests

The other Barcelona players who have been booked this season for complaining about decisions are Samuel Umtiti at Anoeta (1-2), Ivan Rakitic (against Athletic), and Luis Suárez, at Mestalla.

Luis Suárez also somehow managed to avoid being booked during the Athletic match, despite calling the referee a 'fucking bottler' and saying "you can't see a thing you clown".

Despite the evidence, Ernesto Valverde has argued that his side treat the match officials with complete respect. “I don’t think my players are protesting more than is right, I don’t get that feeling” he said in a press conference.

Real Madrid meanwhile have picked up 16 yellow cards in their eight LaLiga games this season, with only one player going into the book for protesting: Modric against Sevilla.



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