Joan Laporta, favourite to become the next president of Barcelona, has spoken about Lionel Messi‘s red card against Athletic Bilbao in comments to Tot Costa of Catalunya Radio carried by Diario Sport.
The Argentine was sent off by referee Gil Manzano after an altercation with Athletic’s Asier Villalibre.
Messi punched the Basque in the back of the head after he blocked his run into the penalty area, with the action coming in the 120th minute as the Blaugrana were chasing an equaliser.
“I think he’s just trying to get the Buffalo of Guernica off him, who, by the way, I like, but always goes to disrupt,” Laporta said. “He intentionally blocks Leo’s path.”
Barcelona ended up losing the game 3-2 to fail in the final of the Supercopa de Espana. The Blaugrana managed to blow two leads, both obtained through Antoine Griezmann goals. Ronald Koeman‘s men conceded an equaliser in the 90th minute before losing it in extra-time.
Messi will miss Barcelona’s next two games, the Copa del Rey clash with third-tier Cornella this evening and the forthcoming La Liga clash with Elche.