Lionel Messi at the risk of facing lengthy ban after his red card against Athletic club

Lionel Messi-Barcelona

The Argentine was sent off for the first in his Barcelona career during the Spanish Super Cup final defeat against Athletic club

Barcelona ace Lionel Messi was shown a red card – the first in his Blaugrana career – for his foul on Athletic Club star Asier Villalibre in the Spanish Super Cup final. Now the consequences appear to be more severe than expected.

According to reports, the Argentine could be suspended up to 12 matches if FA deems the act as an aggressive one. If it is not the case, he would be out of action for at least four matches.

The 33-year-old completely lost when he lashed out at Villalibre in the final minutes of the game.

It was a night to forget for Barca as they failed to capitalise on Antoine Griezmann’s brace, with Athletic coming from behind to win the game 3-2 as Inaki Williams’ strike at the start of the extra time proved decisive.

Messi wasn’t at his best throughout the game and it is understandable that he was coming off a slight discomfort, which kept him out of action against Real Sociedad in the semi-finals.

Prior to it, the six-time Ballon d’Or was in sublime touch as he climbed the top of the scoring charts in La Liga despite a substandard start to the season.

Ronald Koeman’s side have received praises of late following their excellent performances but the defeat could be detrimental to their title ambitions.