– Lionel Messi was sent off the pitch for the first time during Barcelona’s Super Cup defeat to Athletic Bilbao
– The Argentine was spotted by VAR knocking Villalibre to the ground with his arm
– The 33-year-old checked the pulse of the player before leaving the pitch
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Lionel Messi was in the news for the wrong reasons over the weekend after bagging his first career red card in Barcelona’s 3-2 defeat to Athletic Bilbao in their Spanish Super Cup final.
The defeat also stopped the 33-year-old Argentine from lifting his first silverware since the 2018-19 campaign.
Messi was handed a marching order in the final moments of the game after swinging his right arm and knocked Asier Villalibre to the ground.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner was almost getting away with the offence until the Video Assistant Referee spotted it and the Catalans captain was sent off.
However, the 2014 FIFA World Cup finalist performed one last task before walking off the pitch as he was spotted checking the pulse of the 23-year-old attacker while laying on the floor.
According to Give Me Sport, fans believe Messi checking the vital signs of his opponent to see if he was still breathing was sarcastic.
After the match, the victim believed Messi had shown “clear aggression” towards him after speaking reporters, per Rik Sharma, after the match.
“It seemed to me a clear aggression from Messi. I put my body in the way, he got mad and he hit me in the face with his hand.”
However, Messi’s manager, Ronald Koeman, defended his star man. The Dutchman told reporters:
“I can understand what Messi did. I don’t know how many times they fouled him, and it’s normal to react when they keep trying to foul you as a player who is looking to dribble with the ball, but I need to see it again properly.”
Legit.ng earlier reported that Lionel Messi suffered double tragedy during Barcelona’s Spanish Super Cup final defeat to Athletic Bilbao at the Estadio La Cartuja over the weekend.
The 33-year-old failed to lift his first title in 2021, he was also off for the first time after getting violent with Asier Villalibre in the game.
While that was the fourth red of his professional career. Antoine Griezmann scored two goals but they ended up mere consolations after Inaki Williams’ 94th-minute strike propelled his side to victory in the extra minutes.
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