On a team that includes Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi became the first Barcelona player to get in trouble for violent conduct and we’re still in preseason. In today’s friendly against Roma, Messi got into former Newcastle player Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa’s face and attempted to headbutt Yanga-Mbiwa as well as grabbed him by the throat.
Messi would receive a yellow card, proving that Messi can pretty much do just about anything and not be shown a red card. Yes, I know this is a friendly and getting a red card in a friendly is extremely rare (unless you’re Jimmy Conrad), but headbutting and grabbing the throat of a player should probably be a red regardless of the player or the importance of the game.
Watching the video, it’s unclear what went on between Yanga-Mbiwa and Messi to escalate the situation from 0 to 100 in a couple seconds. It’s pretty uncharacteristic for Messi to do something like this. BuzzFeed Sports posted a GIF from before the video that may have been the reason for Messi to react the way he did.
This is what warranted that reaction from Messi. Yup, that will do it. pic.twitter.com/JLTCNkbs1y
— BuzzFeed Sports (@BuzzFeedSports) August 5, 2015
If this is true and this physical play was what set Messi off, there is no excuse for Messi to react like he did. For one thing, Messi shouldn’t be headheadbutting and grabbing the throats of any player anyway and another thing, this is a preseason friendly so let’s all bring it down a notch. Yeah the play was too physical, especially for a friendly, but two wrongs do not make a right. Considering this is a friendly and it was a yellow card, I wouldn’t expect to see any further action.