Lionel Messi took a wild swing at an opponent off the ball, and got his first red card in 753 games for Barcelona
- Lionel Messi was sent off for first ever time in his Barcelona career on Sunday as Ronald Koeman's side was beaten 3-2 by Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup final.
- Mess was shown red for "violent conduct" in the final seconds of extra time after taking a wild arm swing at Bilbao's Asier Villalibre off the ball.
- The 33-year-old could now be banned for a minimum of four domestic games.
- Bilbao won the tie courtesy of a superb Inaki Williams goal, who said after: "When you have heart and faith, all is possible."
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Lionel Messi was sent off for first ever time in his FC Barcelona career on Sunday as Ronald Koeman's side was beaten 3-2 by Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup final.
Messi, who was making his 753rd appearance for Barcelona, was shown red for "violent conduct" in the final seconds of extra time after taking a wild arm swing at Bilbao's Asier Villalibre off the ball.
Messi has never been sent off for Barcelona in the 753 games he has played for the club. He has, however, been dismissed twice while playing for Argentina.
The first sending-off was on his international debut against Hungary in 2005, and the second in the Copa America third-place play-off against Chile in 2019.
The 33-year-old could now be banned for a minimum of four domestic games, with Super Cup suspensions carrying over to league and cup matches. Messi's manager, Ronald Koeman, defended the Argentine after the game, saying he likely lashed out because Bilbao players kept fouling him all match."I can understand what Messi did," Koeman said. "I don't know how many times they fouled him, and it's normal to react when they keep trying to foul you as a player who is looking to dribble with the ball, but I need to see it again properly."Barcelona took the lead in Super Cup final in the 40th minute through Frenchman Antoine Griezmann, however Bilbao levelled just two minutes later courtesy of a rare goal from full-back Oscar de Marcos. Griezmann put Barcelona ahead again in the 70th minute, before Villalibre equalized in the final minute to take the tie to extra time.Inaki Williams curled home a superb winner to secure Bilbao's first trophy since 2015, when it again beat Barcelona in the Super Cup.
"I'm very happy," said winning goalscorer Williams after. "But I still haven't processed what we just did. We showed we can compete with any other team. They couldn't knock us down."
He added: "We showed that we're a great team and this is dedicated to all Athletic fans. When you have heart and faith, all is possible. We've worked like animals and we've been rewarded for it.
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