Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi 'red card' incidents compared in La Liga games

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Lionel Messi sparked controversy during Barcelona's 0-0 draw with Sevilla on Friday night.

The Blaugrana's star man is usually making headlines in La Liga for scoring remarkable goals and providing genius assists, but it was his behaviour off the ball that caught people's eye this week.

That's because Messi lost his temper with Diego Carlos at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium having been on the receiving end of a brutal tackle from the Sevilla man earlier in the game.

Messi proceeded to spark handbags between two teams by striding towards Carlos in anger and risking the referee's wrath by pushing his opponent, who duly and theatrically fell to the pitch.

Whether or not Messi deserved a red for his actions is unclear, though plenty of fans think that should have been the case, but it did seem generous that he managed to avoid even a caution.

Messi makes headlines vs Sevilla

Where to draw the line on a player losing their temper can often be difficult for officials and naturally leads to discrepancies in the way incidents are handled across competitions.

And this is Messi we're talking about, so everyone should have seen a mile off that comparisons to his eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo were always going to happen at some point.

As we all know, Ronaldo plied his trade in La Liga for nine years during his time with Real Madrid and his disciplinary record certainly wasn't as squeaky clean as that of Messi.

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Comparison to Ronaldo incident

CR7 has been dismissed 11 times in his career with six of them coming at the Bernabeu, whereas Messi has only seen red twice as a professional and both occasions were with Argentina.

But as far as Ronaldo is concerned, it's his red card against Athletic Bilbao in early 2014 that stands out the most in terms of seeing how lucky Messi could count himself at Sevilla on Friday.

And whereas Messi escaped punishment for his actions, Ronaldo wasn't just red-carded for his push on Carlos Gurpegi, but he was slapped with a three-game ban from La Liga for good measure.

Twitter user @cr7raprhymes made the point this weekend by putting videos of the two incidents back to back, coming to the conclusion that 'Messi is the most protected player ever!'.

We'll let you draw your own conclusion by checking out the footage down below:

You have to admit, the discrepancy in punishments is a little harsh.

That being said, to act as though Ronaldo was only 'touching' Gurpegi is the understatement of the century because, well, the malice with which he flicked out at his opponent was clear to see.

By all accounts, we can agree that Ronaldo lost his temper more here, but the fact Messi wasn't far away from replicating it and didn't even get a yellow card seems a little strange, it must be said. 

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And when you consider referees can't help factoring in a player's reputation, it wouldn't be without the realms of possibility to suggest Ronaldo would have been punished harsher at Sevilla.

What we do know for certain, though, is that it won't stop the comparisons raging on and on and on.

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