Lionel Messi is authorized to return to step on a playing field officially, after serving the two suspension dates for having been expelled in the final of the Spanish Super Cup that Barcelona lost in overtime to Athletic Bilbao. And to turn the page it appeared in practice with a change of look: she cut her hair even more, more formal than usual. And he continues to dispense with the beard, which became a symbol of his image for much of his career.
On the threshold of the crossing between the Blaugrana team and Vallecano Ray for the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey (This Wednesday; in Spain they handle the possibility that La Pulga will start to regain rhythm after the forced stop), the 33-year-old forward appeared with an unusual cut: the sides practically shaved and the rest of the hair very short. It is common that in an unhappy situation from the sporting point of view, Messi innovates with the look. And the red card, apparently, led to the passage through the barber.
The controversial move, which left him without action for two games, took place 118 minutes into that duel that ended up crowning the Bilbao club as Super Cup champion. Assier Villalibre tried to stop Messi’s career towards the crescent of the area and the Argentine took him off with a slap. The match judge, Jesús Gil Manzano, had to resort to Video Arbitration Assistance (VAR) to be able to visualize the maneuver again, since the protagonists were not in his visual field. Finally, he made the decision to show the red one.
“In the 120th minute the player (10) Messi Cuccittini, Lionel Andres was sent off for the following reason: Hitting an opponent with the arm using excessive force with the ball in play but not at a distance from being played ”, indicated the referee’s report, and the Ethics Committee of the competition applied two days of suspension.
Thus, Messi could not be present in the victories against Cornellá for the Copa del Rey (2-0, goals by Ousmane Dembelé and Martin Braithwaite) and against Elche, for the League (also 2-0, with conquests by Frenkie de Jong and Riqui Puig). Before Rayo Vallecano the door was opened again. And on Sunday he will have the chance to take revenge against Athletic Bilbao, for the Spanish First Division. Yes, he will again be face to face with Assier Villalibre, his antagonist in the expulsion action.
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