Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi tried to persuade the referee to send Cristiano Ronaldo off during last Sunday's El Clasico, after his Real Madrid rival - already on a yellow card - fouled Javier Mascherano and then appeared to poke his opponent in the ear.
Video footage has emerged of the Argentinian approaching the match official moments after the coming together midway through the second half, which shows Messi making a case for the Portuguese forward's early departure.
Having already been booked for a dive in the first half, Ronaldo was walking a tightrope after the interval, and on reflection can probably count himself lucky to have avoided further punishment. Not necessarily for the childish prod on the side of Mascherano's face, but the tackle itself was pretty clumsy to say the least.
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Thankfully for the 2014 FIFA Ballon d'Or winner the man in the middle awarded nothing and waved play on with the Barcelona defender rolling around on the floor, but that didn't stop Messi from making his feelings known to the ref as soon as the ball went out of play.
Of course, the official's decision proved irrelevant as Luis Enrique's side went on to record a valuable 2-1 victory at Camp Nou to move four points clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, leaving Carlo Ancelotti's men with it all to do during the end-of-season run-in.
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Goals from Jeremy Mathieu and Luis Suarez proved enough to secure all three points after Ronaldo had restored parity just after the half hour mark in what was another pulsating encounter between the two teams.
However, despite getting on the scoresheet the 30-year-old was forced to endure another frustrating night as arch nemesis Messi came out on top yet again, in terms of both the result and the head-to-head duel with regards to their individual performances.
The pint-sized magician might not have found the net, but it was his free-kick that set up Mathieu for the opening goal, and his all-round contribution was much more noticeable than that of Ronaldo's, who will probably be even more annoyed if he clocks this clip of Messi trying to get him red carded.
The translated conversation between Messi and the referee went something like this, with special thanks to 101greatgoals.com for bringing the video to our attention:
Leo Messi: "You saw what happened. Yes, you saw. You saw what happened."
Referee: "Very little, I’m saying the truth. I was looking, but saw very little, but looking at the reaction of Masche[rano] maybe it is yellow. But I don’t know, maybe I'm wrong."
Do you think Cristiano Ronaldo deserved to be red carded? Are you surprised to see Leo Messi behaving like this and trying to get a fellow professional sent off? Share your thoughts below...
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