Lionel Messi was sent off for the first time in his Barcelona career during the Spanish Super Cup final loss against Athletic Club. The incident occurred in the extra time of the game when the Argentine was handed a straight red for violent conduct against Athletic forward Asier Villalibre. It was the 33-year-old’s first red card for the Catalan club in 753 appearances. Lionel Messi Shown First Red Card of Barcelona Career During 2-3 Defeat Against Athletic Club.
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman believed that the Argentine’s actions were down to frustration due to constant fouls against him. After the match went into extra-time, Lionel Messi swung at Asier Villalibre in an off-the-ball incident that was spotted later by VAR and referee Jesus Gil Manzano showed the Argentine a red card. Athletic Bilbao 3–2 Barcelona, Supercopa De Espana Final Goal Video Highlights.
Lionel Messi might be looking at a length ban for his actions but Ronald Koeman has defended his star player. ‘I can understand what Messi did,’ the Barcelona manager said post-game. ‘I don’t know how many times they fouled him, and it’s normal to react when they keep trying to foul you as a player who is looking to dribble with the ball, but I need to see it again properly.’ He added.
The Barcelona captain was a serious doubt for this game. Lionel Messi missed the semi-final clash against Real Sociedad due to a muscle problem which he picked up in a game before that, but managed to last the entire period, however, couldn’t help his team get over the line against a determined Bilbao side.
‘We are sad, disappointed by the result, We played the final to win and not to lose that, yes, but there is no time to get off. We’ll be playing soon, there’s a cup and a league, there’s no time for regrets,’ Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman added.
(The above story first appeared on Reportr Door on Jan 18, 2021 02:18 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website reportrdoor.com).