Iago Aspas has been accused of earning himself a deliberate yellow card after injuring himself while scoring Celta Vigo’s 11th-minute goal against Valencia on Sunday.
The 34-year-old forward, who has been one of La Liga’s most consistent players since returning to Celta in 2015 following an ill-fated spell with Liverpool, opened the scoring at Balaidos with a superb solo effort.
Aspas then wheeled away to celebrate before pulling up with an injury.
The Spaniard was seen saying something to his teammate Braid Mendez. He then proceeded to take his shirt off before laying on the ground.
Aspas was subbed off for Renato Tapia minutes later, but only after he’d received a yellow card from referee Ricardo De Burgos.
Every footballer knows that taking your shirt off after scoring a goal is a yellow card offence.
And Aspas, who presumably feared in that moment that he wouldn’t be fit to face Mallorca on Friday, has been accused of deliberately getting himself booked so that he can serve a one-game suspension while injured.
This was Aspas’s fifth yellow card of the season, which means an automatic one-game ban must be served.
The experienced striker is now suspended for the fixture against Mallorca - a game that he probably would have missed anyway through injury.
Video: Did Aspas get himself deliberately booked?
Watch the incident here:
The official Twitter account of the International Champions Cup have described it as a “Galaxy brain football move”.
Football writer Zach Lowy added: “Not even Einstein reached these levels of intelligence”.
Sergio Ramos was once banned for deliberate booking
But could Aspas face action if found guilty of getting himself deliberately booked?
Back in February 2019, Sergio Ramos received a two-match ban from UEFA’s control, ethics and disciplinary body for a similar incident while playing for Real Madrid against Ajax in the Champions League.
It was deemed that this was an attempt to ensure a ban would not be hanging over him during the latter stages of the competition.
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