Will Messi play the Super Cup
Lionel Messi saw red for the first time in the 753rd game for Barcelona
The Argentine superstar lost his nerve in the lost Supercup final against Athletic Bilbao. He's missing for the Catalans in the upcoming games.
Lionel Messi achieved an inglorious milestone in his 753rd official game for Barcelona’s first team. The Argentine saw their first straight red in the 3-2 defeat after extra time in the final of the Spanish Supercup against Athletic Bilbao. Messi was excluded on Sunday evening in the final minute of extra time after a blow to the back of the head from opponent Asier Villalibre. He is now threatened with a longer suspension.
Messi was prosecuted after the video referee intervened and trotted off the lawn with his head down. The game hadn't gone to his liking before. After missing the Supercup semi-final against Real Sociedad, Messi looked tired against Bilbao. Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman said in an initial reaction that he "understands what Messi has done". "I don't know how many times they fouled him," said the Dutchman. But he had to look at the scene again in peace.
Messi could now miss four games. The Barcelona-based daily "Sport" expected a two-game suspension based on the referee's report. Barcelona will play the cup match at third division Cornella on Thursday, after which it will play against Elche in the league.
For Messi it wasn't the first red card of his career. His national team career began in August 2005 with an exclusion in the international match against Hungary. In a game with Barcelona's B-Team, he was thrown off the field with red a few months earlier. Messi last saw red in the match for third place between Argentina and Chile at the 2019 Copa America.
After the missed title, Antoine Griezmann caused a stir in addition to Messi's departure. The loser's double goal scorer criticized his team's defensive weaknesses in a TV interview. "We defended weakly and didn't speak at all in set pieces. Somebody has to take command," said the Frenchman. Barcelona are currently missing the injured defense chief Gerard Pique.
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