The Argentine and Barcelona forward saw red – quite literally – during the latter stages of Sunday’s Spanish Super Cup final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao.
The 33-year-old fouled Asier Villalibre in the 120th minute of the match as Barça attacked in search of a late equaliser in the game.
Referee for the match Jesus Gil Manzano didn’t notice the incident first-hand but reviewed it later on the pitch-side monitor after the VAR room advised him to take a look at the incident.
After watching the footage of Messi hitting his opponent, the match official had no choice but to show the superstar a red card.
This has to be his first red card in his club career. He has been sent off on two previous occasions, but both came in international matches with Argentina (against Hungary in 2005 and Chile in 2019).
Messi’s moment of madness may now lead to a ban – and it could be a lengthy one, too.
If Manzano describes the incident as a serious offence in his report, which seems almost certain, Article 98 of Spanish football’s Disciplinary Code states that the player will face a ban of between four and 12 – yes, twelve – matches.