Lionel Messi criticised Ousmane Dembele's Spanish to try and save him from red card v Sevilla

  • Rob Swan

It’s no surprise that Barcelona have put together a winning run since Lionel Messi returned to full fitness.

The Catalan giants were struggling without their captain during the opening weeks of the season and Ernesto Valverde, the team’s head coach, was under serious pressure following a series of bad results.

But Messi’s return to action following a calf injury has coincided with a four-match winning streak, beginning with a 2-1 victory over Villarreal last month.

Barça have since registered wins over Getafe and Inter Milan in La Liga and the Champions League, respectively, while Sunday’s 4-0 demolition of Sevilla at Camp Nou was an early-season highlight.

Messi scored his first goal of the season against the Andalusian outfit, leaving Tomas Vaclik absolutely no chance with a typically inch-perfect free-kick.

Ousmane Dembele also got himself on the scoresheet on Sunday evening, but the French winger’s evening ended on a sour note when he received a red card minutes before full-time.

The 22-year-old was shown a second yellow card for criticising the referee, Antonio Mateu.

The Spanish match official’s report claims Dembele told him he was ‘very bad, very very very bad, while gesturing with his arms’.

Spanish TV cameras back up Mateu’s version of events, claiming Dembele did use the words ‘Muy malo’ (very bad) after the ref had sent off 20-year-old substitute Ronald Araujo moments earlier.

Dembele was subsequently shown another yellow card – having picked up his first of the evening early in the second half – but Messi pleaded with Mateu not to send him off because his teammate apparently can’t speak Spanish.

Messi – per Cuatro, and brought to our attention by Spanish newspaper Marca – told Mateu: “He can’t speak [Spanish]!”

Watch the video here…

Yep. Messi tried to defend Dembele, who has been living in Spain for over two years now, by claiming the Frenchman can’t speak the language.

Shameless stuff but you have to admire the Argentine for doing everything in his power to try and save his teammate.

It even looks like Luis Suarez and Sergio Busquets laugh after Messi says it.

Dembele’s Spanish might not be the best but it seems he knows exactly what ‘muy malo’ means.

And using those words to describe Mateu could see him miss a couple of La Liga matches, including the Clasico on October 26.

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