In the sport of soccer, we have seen many great players. When we mention the word “magic” in soccer, Lionel Messi will be one of the first names to pop up in our minds. The PSG star has entertained billions of fans around the world with his magic on the pitch. He is arguably the greatest soccer player of all time, together with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Many fans believe the Portuguese star is a hothead on the pitch, but Messi has had his fair share of fights as well. There have been occasions where he has received straight red cards in his career for his altercations with opponent players.
How many straight red cards has Lionel Messi received?
Messi has received 3 red cards in his career so far, according to Transfermarkt. He was shown the way out on his Argentina debut, back in 2005. It was a friendly match between Hungary and Argentina. Around the 64th minute, when Argentina was winning 2-1, Leo came on for Lisandro Lopez, to feature for the first time for his country.
Many might be surprised to know that he was wearing the number 18 on his back before he made a name for himself with the number 10. As Messi was dribbling with the ball and went past a Hungary player, the opponent pulled back the Argentine by his shirt. Messi then appeared to have swung an arm toward his opponent’s face. The match referee called a foul for Hungary and showed Messi a red card.
Messi managed to get his second-ever red card when playing for Argentina as well. In 2019, his country faced Chile in the Copa America. As Messi and Gary Mendel were battling for the ball, the pair got into a heated exchange. Both players started shoving each other with their chests. The other Chilean players came to separate the two. The match referee then proceeded to hit both Messi and Mendel with a red card.
— Linson Mathew (@linsonmathew007) July 7, 2019
Messi made his debut for Barcelona at 17 years old in 2004. He kept his name clean at the Catalan club and did not attain a red card. Both the cards he received in his career were with his country. That was the case until January 2021. Barcelona faced Athletic Bilbao in the Supercopa de España Final. During a play, Messi passed the ball to the left flank before looking up to join the attack.
Messi sees red for an off-the-ball swing. pic.twitter.com/PAW8cm95OR
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 17, 2021
Asier Villalibre, the Bilbao player who was marking Messi, appeared to use his body to push the Argentine. However, Messi did not want to deal with Asier’s off-the-ball antics, and slapped the Spaniard on the back of the head. The referee immediately showed Messi a red card as Barcelona was losing 3-2.