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Shock as Lionel Messi faces huge 12-match ban for punching opponent if act deemed ‘aggressive’

Last updated 1 month ago | By Mirror

Soccer Football - Spanish Super Cup Final - FC Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao - Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla, Seville, Spain - January 17, 2021 Barcelona's Lionel Messi [Reuters, Marcelo Del Pozo]

Lionel Messi could be hit with a huge 12-match ban if the FA deem his red card offence against Athletic Bilbao to be "aggressive".

Barcelona forward Messi was sent off for the first time in his club career in the final minute of extra time as his side were beaten in the Spanish Super Cup final.

Messi lashed out at Asier Villalibre's head and was shown a straight red card.

The Argentine faces being suspended for anywhere between four and 12 matches, depending on the way the Spanish FA review the incident.

If the six-time Ballon d'Or winner is deemed to have acted in an aggressive manner then he could face the maximum time out of action.

Messi would miss a significant portion of the season if he's hit with the maximum ban.

Soccer Football - Spanish Super Cup Final - FC Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao - Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla, Seville, Spain - January 17, 2021 Barcelona's Lionel Messi in action with Athletic Bilbao's Ander Capa [Reuters, Marcelo Del Pozo]

Currently, Barcelona are third in La Liga and need Messi firing on all cylinders if they are to catch Atletico Madrid at the top of the table.

If the Spanish FA aren't convinced Messi acted in an aggressive manner then he will face a regular suspension and will miss between one and three games.

Messi lost his lead right at the end of the Spanish Super Cup final after Athletic Bilbao came from behind to beat the Catalan giants 3-2.

Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring for Barcelona before Oscar de Marcos levelled things up just before the break.

Griezmann restored Barcelona's advantage but a Villalibre goal took the game to extra time, where Inaki Williams netted the all-important match-winning goal.

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