Ronald Koeman opens up about Lionel Messi’s red card
Lionel Messi finally received a straight red card for the first time after making no less than 753 appearances for Barcelona.
The first red card was obtained by La Pulga in the match between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup Final on Monday morning WIB (18/01). In the match at the Camp Nou, Barcelona surprisingly defeated with a thin score of 2-3.
Barca had the lead even twice, but for some reason they let the opponent score two goals in return. The score is just as strong forcing the match to continue into extra time.
It was in that round that Messi found his red card, at the last minute of the match, when Barcelona was launching an attack, Messi was seen punching one of the opposing players, Asier Villalibre.
In the VAR replay, it appears that at that time Asier Villalibre did seem to be blocking the movement of Messi who was running towards the penalty box.
The referee actually escaped the incident, but after seeing VAR, he saw clearly that Messi punched Asier, as a result the court gave the captain a direct red card.
Speaking about the incident, coach Ronald Koeman admits that he understands that it is just a natural reaction from Messi who feels frustrated at being left behind after having taken charge of the previous match.
“I understand what Messi did on the red card. I don’t know how many fouls they did to him. He tried to dribble and always couldn’t.”
“Do I forgive him? I must first see the incident,” said Koeman quoted from Marca.
Actually, before the match against Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona were still anxiously waiting for the certainty of the fitness of Messi, who was absent due to a minor muscle injury in the last few matches.
Indeed, Messi in the end still played in the Spanish Super Cup final, but unfortunately the captain received his first red card in a Barcelona shirt.
Regarding Messi’s injury, Koeman himself emphasized that the player himself decided to play.
“After all these years, he [Messi] knows very well when he can play and when not. He decided he wanted to play and that’s it,” he said.