Barcelona have announced their intention to appeal Lionel Messi’s suspension, after the Argentine was sent off for hitting Asier Villalibre in the dying moments of the Supercopa de Espana final.
In added time, as Barca trailed 3-2, Messi’s run was blocked by Villalibre and he responded by hitting the Spaniard on the back of the head.
Shortly after the incident, La Pulga appeared remorseful, checking to see if his opponent was okay, but there were few complaints when he received the first red card of his club career.
Despite this, Barcelona have announced that they will attempt to get Messi’s suspension overturned – which should keep him out for at least four games – called off by an appeal.
A statement posted on the club’s website read: “FC Barcelona must appeal the suspension against Leo Messi.
“The competition committee announced on Tuesday that the Argentine’s red card in the closing minutes of the Spanish Super Cup final against Athletic Club would result in a two-match ban. It was the first time Messi had been sent off while playing for FC Barcelona. .
“The referee’s report describes the motivation as follows:” Hitting an opponent with his arm with excessive force while the ball is in play but not at a playable distance. “”
The likelihood of Barcelona succeeding in their appeal is close to zero, however, it is worth a try as Ronaldo Koeman can hardly afford to do without his talisman in the next few matches. On and off the pitch, Barca have had a tumultuous season.
Battles for pay cuts and a presidential election have been matched to uneven form with Koeman’s side currently seven points behind La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid having played two more games .