Lionel Messi avoided a tougher sanction and was suspended for only two matches on Tuesday after hitting an opponent in an incident away from the ball in the Spanish Super Cup final.
Barcelona now know how long they will be without Leo Messi for and it is the shortest ban possible. The president of the competition committee, Carmen Perez, has imposed a two game ban on the Argentinian striker.
She took into account several factors when it came to deciding on a ban for the Argentine. The most important thing was that referee Jesus Gil Manzano did not call it violent conduct, but that he hit an opponent “with excessive force”.
Barca also sent in video footage to claim that it was not violent conduct, but that Messi was pushing Asier Villalibre out of the way instead of hitting him on the face.
‘ABC’ reports that the Catalan giants also said that it was Messi’s first red card in 753 matches for the club so he is not that type of player. He was just angry and frustrated at the situation given that his team were losing and just seconds remained in the match.
In short, Lionel Messi has been given the shortest possible ban for catching Asier Villalibre in the closing stages of the Super Cup. The red card was given after a VAR review and the Barca star has now been suspended.
The two matches Leo Messi will miss
Ronald Koeman will not be able to play him in the club’s next La Liga and Copa del Rey games. The captain will miss the cup tie with Cornella and then the league fixture with Elche, both away from home.
He will be available when Barca and Athletic Bilbao face off in the league on matchday 21.
Messi’s suspension will also allow him time to recover from the knock he had picked up which nearly saw him miss the final.
It is not the first time this type of red card was given a two match suspension instead of four. Gil Manzano used the same phrase when Grego Sierra of Sabadell and Charles of Pontevedra saw red and they also received two game bans.