Argentine superstar Lionel Messi picked his first club career red card on Sunday night as his Barcelona side lost in the Copa Del Rey final to Atletic Bilbao.
Messi was a doubt for the game having sat of the club’s last game but was included in the starting team after passing a late fitness test.
With no winner in regular time, the game went for extra time where Messi slapped Asier Villalibre in the 120th minute of the game. The referee checked the incident via VAR and sent off the Barcelona captain in what was his first red card in his club career, on his 753rd appearance in all completions for the Catalonia giants.
It was however not Messi’s first red card in his football career as he has been sent off twice while representing Argentina. His first came two minutes into his debut with the National team in 2005 against Hungary, and the second coming in 2019 against Chile.
There have been reports that apart from the red card on Sunday, Messi is set to receive a ban and a fine for violent conduct with a suspension in the league inevitable.
Messi sees red for an off-the-ball swing. pic.twitter.com/PAW8cm95OR— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 17, 2021