Losing the Spanish Super Cup final also meant losing his cool for Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who now faces a suspension of up to 12 games after he punched an opponent towards the end of the skirmish.
Messi’s red card received during the final minutes of Barcelona’s 3-2 loss to Athletic Bilbao in Seville over the weekend puts his team in danger of having to make do without him for an extended period of time. Following his passing of the ball while running toward the box, Messi stretched out his right arm in the direction of the head of opposition forward Asier Villalibre, who immediately fell to the ground.
Sunday’s red card is Messi’s first in a total of 753 appearances for Barcelona, and was according to referee Gil Manzano, completely fair and justified. According to Manzano, Messi swung at his opponent and hit him with undue force – while at the time nowhere near the ball.
If found guilty, Messi will not be permitted to participate in any of the upcoming Spanish League or Copa del Rey matches. Barcelona currently trail both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in the Spanish League. Round 32 of the Copa del Rey is currently underway.
Messi previously got sent off twice during his time playing for Argentina’s national team. Sunday’s red card was however his first official red send-off. The Barcelona star is experiencing an average season compared to previous runs, and wasn’t playing his best game on Sunday. He could clearly be seen growing increasingly more frustrated as the match against Bilbao wore on.
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