17th August, 2019
The photo above is something the Barcelona fans least expected to see in the very first match of their darling team’s defence of the LaLiga title they won last season.
Star striker Luis Suarez went off injured in the first half of Barcelona’s opening LaLiga match of the season against Athletic Bilbao thereby leaving the team without yet another one of the usual suspects in the attack.
The Barcelona attack was already decimated with the absence of talisman Lionel Messi who could not even play a minute of the game.
Luis Suarez appeared to have hurt his calf muscle shortly before taking a shot that hit the post just after the half-hour mark at San Mames and to the dismay and disappointment of the travelling fans, the Uruguay international Suarez was given treatment but had to be withdrawn, to be replaced by Rafinha.
It is the very first time that the striker has been substituted in the first half of a LaLiga game since he joined Barcelona from Liverpool in 2014.
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) August 16, 2019
Lionel Messi was missing from the match due to a calf injury suffered shortly before Barca traveled to the United States for two friendly matches against Napoli last week.
Just before the match, Philippe Coutinho was left out of the squad, with Barcelona confirming he is in talks with Bayern Munich over a loan move to the Bundesliga champions.
By the way,, Ernesto Valverde’s return to San Mames was goalless at half-time, with Rafinha having also been denied by the woodwork after replacing Suarez.
The rest of the match’s proceedings is now history with the Barca fans now anxious to know how serious the injury to their prized striker is and for how long he will be out of the team.