Here’s a five-day period so Luis Suarez that even Luis Suarez would call it cliché. Last Tuesday, the Uruguayan striker was booked in the 76th minute of Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea. Suarez was given the yellow directly after Lionel Messi’s equalizer for berating the linesman.
The 31-year-old was rolling on the ground, screaming for a penalty when Messi turned Andres Iniesta’s clever pass into Barca’s vital away goal. Suarez sprang to his feet, singled out the linesman for ridicule and ran away to celebrate. He was then booked.
Madness is part of Suarez’s game. He’s previously admitted that his on-field persona is unrecognizable to the man he is off the pitch (although you get the feeling he kind of needs that to be the case).
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Suarez grew up playing barefoot on the streets and has said that his on-field behavior is, in large part, influenced by the admittedly irrational fear that his opponents are trying not only to take away the win, but also to take away his and his family's livelihood.
On Saturday, that bedeviling mixture came to the fore again as Suarez orchestrated Barca’s 6-1 rout of Girona at the Camp Nou.
Suarez scored a hat-trick, bringing him to 20 goals from 22 La Liga games, while adding two assists.
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But the match’s final four minutes descended into an absolute joke with Suarez hellbent on picking up a yellow card — a booking that would result in his suspension via accumulation for Thursday’s match against 18th-place Las Palmas.
Suarez wanted a clean slate heading into the March 4 match between Barca and second place Atletico Madrid, but the referee was having none of it. He refused to book Suarez for his antics.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter. Suarez will likely be rested against Las Palmas to avoid a yellow and the resulting suspension, and if he then receives the booking against Atletico, he’ll be suspended for a March 10 match against last place Malaga.