Gerard Piqué didn’t play a minute of Saturday’s Clásico but appeared in one of the images of the night. At the end of the match, the Barcelona centre-back walked onto the pitch and up to the centre-circle to protest that referee Jesús Gil Manzano had only added four minutes of stoppage time. “There were substitutes which would have added another minute on. I looked at him. Four minutes… it’s unbelievable,” Piqué complained. The referee booked the Barça defender, as he explained in his notes: “Gerard Piqué was booked for making observations of a technical nature both once the game was over and inside the players’ tunnel”.
💢😳 Encontronazo entre Modric y Piqué
😡 Luka a Gerard Piqué: “Estás esperando para rajar ahora, eh…”
‼️ El croata se acaba yendo tras chocar la mano con el jugador del Barça
— Carrusel Deportivo (@carrusel) April 10, 2021
However, for Eduardo Iturralde González, a former Spanish referee who gives technical advice to AS and Cadena SER, Piqué should have been shown a red card. Luka Modric also made it clear to Piqué that he had overstepped the mark when the two players shook hands after the game. Just as the Barcelona player began making his way towards Gil Manzano, Modric was seen to tell him, “You’ve been waiting to come over and have a go, eh…” as captured by Movistar cameras and deciphered by Carrusel Deportivo.
“He has to be sent off for that. The ref has to show him a yellow or a red card but he cannot allow a player to come on and start having a go at him. A ref can make mistakes in all kinds of ways but they should never lose their personality or tolerate attitudes that breach the rules,” Iturralde González pointed out, who added that Gil Manzano made a mistake when he booked Piqué, because “the rulebook states that a player can be booked after a game, as long as they have not left the field of play, but once inside the players’ tunnel, the referee does not have the authority to book a player. In a case like this, what he should have done is note it down in his match report, but not issue a booking”. Iturralde explained that bookings need to be served in public and on the field of play.