Leeds United fans love a hothead. One that plays with passion, and wears his heart on the sleeve – so much so, that the odd red card is excused. But Gaetano Berardi may have taken it too far.
Berardi, 30, was sent off in the second play-off semi-final against Derby, after a rush of blood saw him dive in on Bradley Johnson. Little contact, but the intent was there – and he was shown his second yellow card.
It was the one-time Switzerland international’s seventh red in just 130 outings for the Whites. It also sees the much-loved defender equal the record number of red cards shown to a Leeds player, along with Alan Smith.
Smith picked up seven red cards over the course of 211 appearances for Leeds, as well as an enormous 46 yellow cards. Berardi has 18 yellow cards, but is much more prone to being sent off.
Gaetano Berardi became the club's joint-most red carded player in @LUFC history with his 7th sending off (level with Alan Smith).
🔴 Derby (78')
🔴 Sunderland (90')
🔴 Cardiff (45+4')
🔴 Bristol City (79')
🔴 Rotherham (74')
🔴 Huddersfield (73')
🔴 Accrington Stanley (89') pic.twitter.com/ybptj4kX7l
— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) May 21, 2019
The question now, is whether the sentiment and love for Berardi is now being outweighed by his lacklustre performances and his inability to remain composed – even in a play-off semi-final.
Many Leeds fans reacted to the news that Berardi had equalled Smith’s record of seventh red card in a Leeds shirt. Some are still very fond of the ex-Sampdoria defender, while others want him sold this summer.
I'm not even mad. Can't help but love the guy.
— Jay 💙💛 (@jaymerry91) May 21, 2019
Love him. But can’t be trusted in big games sadly.
— Mike Bettison (@mikebettison) May 21, 2019
Liability. Hope he's off in summer
— Decky Quinn (@DeckyQuinn) May 21, 2019
Unprofessional. To make a mistake in football is common and can happen to any player, but in the circumstances the red against Derby is unforgivable
— Peter Bellerby (@radio_bellers) May 21, 2019
Love his passion but he is a massive liability as we found out the hard way
— Lee Knight (@leeknight180) May 21, 2019
Can’t be arsed with this anymore. Would rather have a team full of players with his passion than a team full of Grealish’s throwing themselves all over the place.
— Mazmod (@AndrewMasterma1) May 21, 2019