Lionel Messi was spared during Barcelona’s recent game against Deportivo Alaves, said former Spanish referee Juan Andujar Oliver. In an interview with local radio station Radio MARCA, Oliver said that the football superstar should have been sent off the pitch after his angry outburst during the game. During Saturday’s game, Messi kicked the ball and narrowly missed the referee after the latter denied Barcelona a penalty and a free-kick on the edge of the box. Following the outburst, the referee showed Messi a yellow card.
Messi le TIRA UN BALONAZO AL ARBITRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— Fuerza Blanca (@RmHastaElFinal7) October 31, 2020
OTRA EXPULSIÓN PERDONADA A MESSI Y AL FARSA!!!! pic.twitter.com/Vsv8T8MRbF
"He should have been sent off, even though the ball didn't hit referee Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez. With that action, he wanted to intimidate the referee and that deserves a straight red”, Juan Andujar Oliver told Radio MARCA.
Many social media users sided with the referee, saying that any other player would have been given a red card in a similar situation.
Cristiano Ronaldo got a straight RED CARD for barely touching a player’s hair and also a 5 match ban for touching the referee.— NizamDaxo (@NizamDaxo) October 31, 2020
Lionel Messi kicks the ball at the referee and only gets a yellow.
The double standards. Messi is so protected. pic.twitter.com/uLPk5M3OJ3
The refs always protects him from everything. If is was Ramos or anyone else, it would have been red.— DoubleUp (@BloggOdds) November 1, 2020
Some users said that the athlete deserved a suspension for several games.
He deserves a ban tbh— Oluwaseun (@ayomideleoluwa2) November 1, 2020
Many users said that the outburst was the athlete’s way of showing he doesn’t want to stay in Barca.
Messi wants out . He is frustrated. His focus is not on this club anymore . He’s done with them .— Gavin Nerney 🇮🇪 (@NerneyGav14) November 1, 2020
He has lost his touches and goal scoring abilities. At 33 he has won zero trophies. It is obvious he's not happy at camp Nou. He's not happy.— Chelsea Ransome (Elder intoto) (@MgbeahuruRanso1) November 1, 2020
Others sided with Messi, saying the referee made a lot of mistakes during the game.
You should talk about the penalty not whistled to Barca— Muhammad (@MZAHRAN5) October 31, 2020
This is what frustration causes,entire game was a https://t.co/YC3xiKfu50 can you let so many fouls be committed against a team.— ThatGuyEbra (@EbrahimJay) November 1, 2020
Still others noted that Messi wasn’t sent off because the referee is a Barca fan.
Hernandez Hernandez is a staunch Madrid enemy and a barca fan boy! No surprises there 🚶🚶🚶— Madridista ✌ (@A_Idris99) October 31, 2020
Barcelona has had a bad start in La Liga this football season, with the club trailing eight points behind Real Madrid, who are on top of the table. However, things are going well for Barcelona in the Champions League, where it leads their group after two games. On 28 October, Messi’s side defeated Juventus 2-0.