Lionel Messi Headbutts Defender, Escapes Red Card, Immediately Scores

Lionel Messi showed off a side to his game that most people normally don’t see on Wednesday night, as he somehow escaped a red-card after he strangled and head-butted an opponent.

Barcelona were playing Roma in the encounter when the bizarre incident unfolded. You can check out Messi’s run-in with AS Roma’s Yanga-Mbiwa below.

Wow. That all seemed like it got really violent, really fast. Messi appeared to take an issue with the fact that Mbiwa leaned his head into his. But rather than dismissing the defender’s actions as ridiculous, Messi couldn’t help but lunge his head into the Roma player’s before he then ferociously grabbed at his throat. A melee then unfolded between the Roma and Barcelona players before the referee Javier Estrada Fernandez took charge and then set about reprimanding the two players who provoked such an outbreak.

It also looks as though Yanga-Mbiwa said something to Messi that provoked the forward’s physical response. Somehow, the referee decided that neither individual had actually done anything that warranted a red card, and he let each player continue on with the game. The incident unfolded in the 34th minute of the game. And then, just seven minutes later, Messi used the obvious aggression that had built up inside him to score a neat second goal for Barcelona. This put them 2-0 on the night, as it came after Neymar had given them the lead in the 27th minute.

The final goal of the contest came when Ivan Rakitic, who scored Barcelona’s first goal in the Champions League final against Juventus in June, added a third.

What made Lionel Messi’s headbutt even more remarkable is that this was actually his first game back for Barcelona this summer. Because of his participation in the Copa America, Messi was given the Spanish club’s tour of America off.

However, he returned bright and four days early to Barcelona training last week, with reports suggesting that the four-time Ballon d’Or winner was in the best shape of his career. In fact, it was even reported that Messi had the physique of a bull. Barcelona’s next game will come against Sevilla next Tuesday in the Super Cup.

[Image via Talk Sport]