Lionel Messi could face a 12-match ban for picking up his first-ever red-card in club football for Barcelona on Sunday in the Spanish Super Cup final. Messi lost his cool in the dying minutes of the high-octane game and hit his opponent while looking to pass the ball against Athletic Bilbao. Also Read - Cristiano Ronaldo Named in Juventus' 22-Man Squad For Tonight's Serie A Clash Against Spezia
The match referee in his match report mentioned that Messi used ‘excessive force’ on his opponent while the ball was not near him. The matter will be looked into and decided by the Spanish soccer federation committee. Messi’s suspension could range from one to three matches or four to 12 matches based on how severe the committee finds the act. Also Read - BarcaGate Scandal Update: Former President Josep Maria Bartomeu Released After Arrest
The incident took place in the 121st-minute of the match when Messi lost his cool while passing the ball as Asier Villalibre came in his path. It was a right hook in the back of the head that knocked down the Bilbao forward. Initially, the referee missed it, but after a VAR review, he showed Messi a red card for Barca skipper’s conduct. Also Read - 'Barcelona Struggles Not my Problem' - Jean-Clair Todibo Wants Permanent Transfer
Reports suggest that Barcelona is preparing their arguments for the case involving Messi.
Messi has now gotten red-carded three times in his career. The first time in 2005 in his Argentina debut vs. Hungary. The second time in 2019 once more with Argentina, this time vs. Chile at the Copa America. And the third for Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao.
It is believed that Messi would be leaving Camp Nou at the end of the season and Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain emerge as frontrunners to get the services of the Argentine.