It’s not easy being a captain of a sinking ship. Lionel Messi has never been regarded as a true leader by most of the pundits, analysts and fans outside of Barcelona’s own fanbase and unfortunately for the Argentine, despite evidence of the opposite, yesterday night’s case won’t do him any good.
Leo was sent off at the very end of the Supercup final game against Athletic Club, the first red card in his entire illustrious Barcelona career, and had to watch the Lions finish the job from the dressing room. However, as true captains and greats do, Messi recognised his mistake right away.
According to a report from Cuatro, Leo apologised to his team following that tough defeat and admitted he did something rash and entirely out of character.
What’s done is done, however, and now we can only wait for the committee’s final verdict on the Argentine’s punishment, apparently to be handed in tomorrow. Barcelona are working hard to reduce the suspension if it happens to be longer than two games but we still don’t know how successful they’ll be in the end.
One thing is for sure, though, and that’s the fact that Messi will inevitably miss a certain number of upcoming matches for the Catalans. His frustration has been growing throughout the game and finally, around the 120th minute, he could take it no longer.
It goes without saying that this is no excuse, especially not for a player of his level and experience, and the apology is a good start for Leo.
But it’s also the easier part. All the heavy lifting remains to be done as Barcelona attempt to claw out of the gutters and back into the light in the upcoming months of 2020/21.