Lionel messi could receive a suspension of up to four games after seeing a red card for the first time in his career with Barcelona on Sunday in the final of the Spanish Super Cup, a 3-2 loss to Athletic Bilbao.
Two goals from Antoine Griezmann seemed to have Barça on their way to their first title under Ronald Koeman, but Asier Villalibre’s goal in the 90th minute forced extra time.
In the 94th minute Iñaki Williams gave the advantage to Athletic, who had beaten Real Madrid in the semifinal, and when time ran out and Barça fell 3-2, Messi was sent off for attacking Villalibre in his state of frustration.
The committee of the Royal Spanish Football Federation will meet this week to define the duration of the suspension of the captain of Barça.
Messi, 33, is likely to miss two games, but this figure could double, depending on how the committee categorizes the expulsion. The suspension must be fulfilled within the scope of La Liga and the Copa del Rey.
Thus, will miss the Cup match on Thursday at Cornella, club of the third division, and the La Liga match against Elche next weekend. If the suspension is prolonged, he could also miss the next round of the Cup, if Barça advances, and the match against Athletic at Camp Nou on January 31.
Sunday’s red card was the first received by Messi with the Barça first team, that is, in 753 games. However, it was the fourth of his career, after a expulsion in Barça B in 2005 and two with the Argentina Selection, one of them in her international debut that same year.
Koeman said after Sunday’s loss that he understood Messi’s frustration.
“I understand what Messi did,” Koeman said.. “I do not know how many fouls have been made. The player tries to dribble, but cannot because every time he needs to, but I have to go back to see the play.”
Barça reached Sunday’s final riding a nine-game undefeated in all the championships, and inspired by Messi’s good performance in his physical fitness test after he missed out on Real Sociedad in the semi-final.
Everything indicated that Griezmann’s two goals would extend the streak to 10 games, but the Frenchman’s points were canceled by Oscar de Marcos’s goal first and Villalibre’s later, before Williams scored the winning goal.
“I’m screwed, angry and upset,” Griezmann told them to journalists after the defeat, which denied him his first title after arriving at Barça from Atlético de Madrid in 2019.
“I have all the bad feelings you can have after losing a final. We made strategy mistakes, we defended badly, we did not speak on free throws. They are important details. “
Koeman tried to be strong despite the loss.
“We are sad and disappointed, but I think we are on the right track and improving.“he added.
“We have to improve in defense. We have to be more committed. We can’t let the players spin, shoot and pass. But I’m giving it my all. I’m not the worst now. [después de una derrota] in the same way that I’m not the best after a win, but it’s hard to assimilate. “
For Athletic, it was their first title since beating Barça to win the Spanish Super Cup in 2015, and they did so in their new coach Marcelino’s third game.
“The credit is with the players,” said Marcelino. “They deserved to be here for what they did last season, and to have won these two games. [contra Madrid y Barça] is incredible.
“I would also like to remember Aritz Aduriz, Mikel San José, and the other players who were here last season but are no longer part of the team. And also the previous coach [Gaizka Garitano] and his coaching staff “.