Last night in El Sadar, Jesús Gil Manzano completed his ‘poker’ of expulsions to the most mediatic cracks of Barça of the last decade. Robert Lewandowski didn’t see a red card since he wore the Borussia Dortmund shirt in the 2013-14 Bundesliga. However, he saw two yellow cards against Osasuna in the first half hour, including a very rigorous yellow card. With that, he followed in the footsteps of Luis Suárez, Neymar and Leo Messi. The German ref Manuel Gräfe was the previous one that sent him off in the 40th minute in a 1-4 defeat against Hamburg on February 9, 2013.
The Extremaduran referee , born in Badajoz 38 years ago, gave a red card to Luis Suarez in the 90th minute in the second leg of the 2016-17 Copa del Rey semifinal against Atlético de Madrid (1-1). Luis Suárez was out due to suspension the final won by Barça against Alavés (3-1).
In that same season of 2016-17, Gil Manzano also sent Neymar (65′) to an early shower. It happened at La Rosaleda in a defeat against Málaga (2-0, 8-4-2017). The Brazilian had to miss El Clásico against Real Madrid, but Barça won the game (2-3).
Gil Manzano has the dubious honor of being the only referee to have expelled Leo Messi as a Barcelona player. It was in the final of the 2020-21 Spanish Super Cup. Barça lost to Athletic (3-2) and Messi was getting rid of Villalibre, who went out of his way to make him an obstruction, at 120′ of extra time.
Barça, his favorite victim
In total, Gil Manzano expelled eight Barcelona players in his career. Although the total number or red cards is ten because he expelled Dani Alves and Clément Lenglet twice. Dani Alver was the first Barcelona player to receive a red card from Gil Manzano. It happened during the 2014-15 season in a 6-1 win for Barça vs Rayo. Last season Alves received another red card in the 4-2 win against Atlético. Lenglet was penalized against Girona in 2018-19 and vs Getafe in 2019-20. Moreover, the ref suspended Sergi Roberto the same day as Suárez. The last one was Piqué for protesting at the break in Pamplona.
With eight cards red in 32 league games refereed, Barça is the team with the most expulsions in his, to which must be added the two mentioned in the Cup.
Gil Manzano is also the only one who has expelled Casemiro despite his history of untimely entries. And he did it twice. Once in the 90th minute of Real Madrid’s 2-1 victory against Barça in the 2020-21 League. And also in Valladolid-Madrid 2018-19. In his career, he showed a red card to figures like: Pepe with Portugal; Varane and Bale, with Madrid; Diego Costa, with Atlético; Nabil Fekir, with Betis; Raúl García, with Athletic, among others. But Barça is his favorite target.