Lionel Messi reportedly apologised to his Barcelona teammates inside the dressing room following his red card in the closing stages of Sunday’s Spanish Super Cup final against Athletic Bilbao.
The legendary Argentine forward was ‘extremely despondent’ after the match, according to Deportes Cuatro, per Marca.
Messi immediately knew that he’d made a big mistake. He allowed frustration to get the better of him and hit out at Asier Villalibre while Barça pressed in search of a late equaliser.
Barcelona, without their captain for the remaining seconds, lost the game 3-2. Villalibre and his Athletic teammates celebrated jubilantly with the Spanish Super Cup on the Estadio Olímpico de Sevilla pitch minutes after the final whistle.
Was it the right decision to send Messi off? Yes. Referee Jesus Gil Manzano had no other option after reviewing the incident on the pitch-side monitor.
The 33-year-old now faces an anxious wait to see how long he’ll be banned for. It was initially reported that Messi faces a ban of between four and 12 matches, although there are suggestions that it could be as few as two games depending on how serious the RFEF view the incident.
Meanwhile, Barcelona fans have been sharing footage of a similar incident involving Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos from a few seasons ago.
On that occasion, Ramos hit out at Suarez in an aggressive manner but, unlike Messi, was only shown a yellow card.
Watch the incident here…
That looks even worse than Messi’s foul, hence why the clip has gone viral on social media.
It’s often been said in the past that Messi is protected by La Liga and its referees, but the South American was shown a red card over the weekend for a lesser offence than Ramos’s.
Of course, Ramos has received more than his fair share of red cards down the years – more than any other player in La Liga history, as it happens – but it’s clear that he got away with one there.
This clip might make it more difficult for La Liga to justify banning Messi for any longer than two games.