Lionel Messi's first Barcelona red card potentially explained by video of Bilbao man

  • Kobe Tong

Lionel Messi picked up the first red card of his Barcelona career at the weekend.

Although we can all agree at this point that claims Messi is a saint on the football pitch are a fallacy, picking up just two dismissals in 16 years is a pretty good disciplinary record.

However, the serial Ballon d'Or winner was always asking for trouble when he lashed out at Athletic Bilbao's Asier Villalibre during their defeat in the Spanish Super Cup final.

Athletic Bilbao 3-2 Barcelona

Regardless of the red card, it was yet another disappointing moment for Barcelona on the big stage, continuing their silverware drought on the back of a fruitless 2019/20 campaign.

And it came in heartbreaking circumstances with an Antoine Griezmann brace looking to have given Barcelona the glory, only for Villalibre to pop up with an equalising strike in the 90th minute.

As a result, the game progressed into extra-time with Inaki Williams notching a winner for the underdogs, ensuring that frustration was bubbling away by the time Messi was sent packing.


Messi's sending off

That alone, you would imagine, goes a long way towards explaining why Messi was irritated to the point of lashing out at another player regardless of whether you think it warranted a red card or not.

However, a viral video has emerged in the aftermath of Messi's moment of madness, which earned him a two-match ban, that could explain why Villalibre was the figment of his frustration.

A number of Barcelona fan accounts on Twitter, including @ellasfcb, have uploaded a TikTok video showing Villalibre's questionable behaviour on the way to securing the Super Cup for Bilbao.

The 23-year-old was seen pushing around his Barcelona opponents while going down far too easily whenever the physical side of the game was dished out on him.


Video might explain Messi's anger

In other words, you'd forgive the Barcelona players for having a particular contempt for Villalibre and certain fans of the Catalan giants are actually chuffed that Messi made him pay for his actions.

Was it the reason that Messi lashed out? It's impossible to say, but you'd be stupid to rule it out once you take a look at the video in question down below:

Yeh, so, it's not difficult to see why Villalibre struck a nerve or two.

Villalibre's wind-up tactics

It's certainly not the first time, nor will it be the last, that players have used these sorts of tactics against major clubs like Barcelona with Sergio Ramos being the prime example.

But at the end of the day, you've simply got to keep your discipline, especially as Messi must be used to getting verbal pelters every game because of his worldwide fame.


The only consolation for Barca is that it didn't cost them too dearly in the context of the game with Messi's red card taking place so late on and his ban falling short of the 12-match maximum.

And besides, considering Messi went over 700 games for Barcelona without being sent for an early bath, I think we can forgive the 33-year-old for letting his anger get the better of him this one time.

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