‘Best left foot but also best right hand!’: Messi earns FIRST EVER Barca red after lashing out in Spanish Super Cup loss (VIDEO
Lionel Messi was issued with his marching orders for the first time in his club career after he was dismissed for taking a swing at Asier Villalibre during Barcelona's Spanish Super Cup final defeat to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
Messi was given a straight red card after he lashed out at Villalibre off the ball late into extra time in Barcelona's 3-2 defeat against their La Liga rivals, the first such punishment of Messi's 753 games in Barcelona colors.
The referee initially didn't spot the incident but was quickly alerted to it by VAR, prompting him to send Messi back to the changing rooms - and dashing any faint hopes of a Barca comeback.
Unreal how Messi not only has the best left foot in the world but also the best right hand... pic.twitter.com/ztBLNaqaiE— 🇲🇽 (@FutbolFax) January 17, 2021
Messi's red was the culmination of a remarkable collapse by Ronald Koeman's team who had led twice through Antoine Griezmann but surrendered their lead each time - the second of which was a late equalizer from Villalibre, Messi's soon-to-be sparring partner.
Inaki Williams scored what proved to be the winner early in extra time but the principal talking point was Messi's late infraction, something which provoked a sizeable reaction from social media.
Messi punches an opponent and gets sent off😭 pic.twitter.com/XFm5opdVrs— Blanco Kiddo(Follow Back 💯) (@BlancoKiddo) January 17, 2021
That was so stupid from Messi, 120th min, need a goal and he does that— Riggers (@UniqueRiggers) January 17, 2021
After 753 games in all competitions for Barcelona, Lionel Messi picked a red card tonight for the first time ever. pic.twitter.com/eT6FO8mcbW— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) January 17, 2021
Messi's red card hit and the failure to clinch what would have been Koeman's first silverware in charge of the Catalan club points to a wider malaise at the Camp Nou.
The European giants began the season in defensive mode, battling to extend Messi's spell at the club after he made known his desire to leave the club he has represented for much of his life for pastures new.
Respect to Asier Villalibre, who did all this, got Messi sent off for the first time in club football, won the Spanish Supercopa and celebrated by literally blowing his own trumpet 🎺 pic.twitter.com/MjFypmX7SJhttps://t.co/9l5ZQQPU1J— elliot ross (@elliot__ross) January 17, 2021
The public rancor between Messi and his club contributed to Barcelona's turgid opening to the season, and while it does appear as if the ship has been steadied somewhat, Barca remain rooted in third position in La Liga - some 7 points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, who can also boast two games in hand.
Messi's on-field indiscretion could lead to a four-game ban, with Super Cup suspensions also carrying over to league fixtures per Spanish rules. While it was his first red in club football, Messi has been sent off twice for Argentina - first in his international debut against Hungary in 2005 and again 14 years later in the 2019 Copa America third-place playoff against Chile.Also on rt.com Magical Messi hits ANOTHER milestone as double strike against Granada sets La Liga record