Lionel Messi headbutts Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa during pre-season friendly

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Lionel Messi has plenty in common with Zinedine Zidane. Both are a joy to watch on the pitch and are considered amongst the greatest to have ever played the game.

And that's about where the comparisons end, certainly when it comes to on-field violence. Zidane of course ended his career with his now iconic headbutt on Marco Materazzi during the World Cup final against Italy back in 2006.

It seems Messi is done with trying to match the Frenchman's feats with the ball at his feet and is now keen to show he can headbutt rivals with the very best of them.

The bizarre incident occurred during Barcelona's pre-season friendly against Roma last night. After teeing up Neymar with a beautiful pass to open the scoring against the Serie A outfit Messi was less than impressed with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

The 26-year-old appeared to initiate the incident with Messi although it was the former Ballon d'Or holder who was much the aggressor. The usually mild-mannered superstar briefly lost control of his senses and aimed a headbutt at Yanga-Mbiwa, before grabbing him by the throat.

Somehow the referee didn't judge Messi's actions to be worth of a red card - although in typical fashion the Argentinian ace then went on to score a superb goal before Ivan Rakatic bagged another to seal a 3-0 win for Barcelona as they gear up to start their league title defence.

Check out a video of the shock incident below - do you think Messi received special treatment from the referee even though it was a pre-season friendly?

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Lionel Messi
Premier League
AS Roma

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