Brazil head coach Tite said he was told to shut up by Argentina captain Lionel Messi in the friendly clash between the South American rivals. While there have been uncountable instances of his genius moments on the field, there have been rare occasions when the Argentine forward came under the microscope for losing his cool on the pitch.
We take a look at such 5 instances.
#1 Throws a punch at Celta Vigo’s Jonathan Villa
This incident occurred in 2012， Messi was hitting his usual standards as Barcelona welcomed mid-table side Celta to the Camp Nou.
But the Argentine experienced a rare game where he couldn’t get on the scoresheet which eventually led to a frustrating night in front of the home fans. And Celta’s successful efforts to thwart the 27-year-old from finding the back of the net brought out the unpleasant side of Messi as he was spotted throwing a punch at opposition defender Jonathan Villa.
Barca grabbed a win but the game was remembered for Messi’s ugly confrontation rather than his moments of genius.
#2 Messi headbutts Yanga-Mbiwa
The incident that brought out the ugly side of the Barcelona star was during a friendly game against AS Roma. The Catalan side were up against the Serie A giants in a match that was contested for the Joan Gamper trophy.
Things heated up when Messi came face-to-face with Yanga-Mbiwa, he had a verbal exchange that instigated the Argentine who reacted by head-butting him and grabbing the midfielder’s throat.
#3 Spitting on Duda
Back in 2008,Messi faced heavy criticism from the press and Spanish football authorities for the spitting incident during Barcelona’s 4-1 victory against Malaga.
And during a running battle with Dunga, the pair collided and ended up on the ground together, while getting to his feet, Messi appeared to spit in the direction of the Portuguese who had his back to the Barcelona player. The incident was caught by television cameras that had zoomed in on the pair.
Pep Guardiola, who was Barca’s manager at the time, said, “It is not good that these things happen. We will try to avoid these type of incidents.”
#4 Verbal confrontation with Malaga defender Weligton
Barcelona’s historic second treble under Luis Enrique in the 2014/15 season was mainly down to the flawless performances of the Catalans in the second half of their campaign. During the game vs Malaga,Barcelona failed to find the back of the net and ultimately lost the match 1-0, thus suffering a setback in the title race.
And on a disappointing night for the Catalans, Messi ended up grabbing the wrong headlines after Malaga defender Weligton accused the Argentine maestro of calling him a ‘son of a bi***’.
#5 Headbutts Shakhtar right back Srna
In the 2009 UEFA Supercup, Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona, who became Spain’s first treble winning side, took on Ukraine champions Shakhtar Donetsk in Monaco as they began their hunt for more titles in the new season.Enduring a frustrating night is something which the Argentine isn’t accustomed to and that became apparent after Barca’s no. 10 barged into Shakhtar’s full-back Darijo Srna who made a crucial clearance preventing Messi from finishing off one of his trademark runs.
And then came the moment when both of them clashed and Messi headbutted the Croatian right back as tempers flared and players gathered around the scene of the crime. The referee displayed a yellow card to the Argentine for his actions and both sides continued on with the game.hey began their hunt for more titles in the new season.