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Messi Suspended For Two Matches After Red Card Against Athletic Bilbao

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BEVERLY HILLS, January 19, (THEWILL) – La Liga side FC Barcelona will have to manage without their talismanic captain, Lionel Messi for their next two matches. The Disciplinary Committee of the Royal Spanish Football Federation deliberated upon the red card incident in the Super Cup final against Athletic Club Bilbao.

The decision turned out not to be as drastic as some predicted. Several sources had claimed that the provoked action of the Barca forward could merit him as much as a 12-match ban while others settled for a more moderate punishment of four matches. The Committee settled for striking the Argentine off two matches as the penalty for the infraction.

Fortunately for the Cules, these are not crucial fixtures. Messi will miss the Spanish Cup match against third division side UE Cornellà on Thursday and the league tie against relegation-threatened Elche on Sunday.

In all, there is the karmic coincidence to the entire suspension because, based on the fixture-list for the Catalan giants, Messi’s return will be against none other than Athletic Club Bilbao again as soon as Sunday, January 31. Perhaps, he could return with vengeance in his mind and revenge in his boots.

Messi was red-carded for striking out against Athletic striker Asier Villalibre, in an off-the-ball incident in the final minutes of extra time of a fractious tie between both sides in the Super Cup final match with Barcelona trailing 3-2.

It was the first time in 753 games for Barcelona that Messi was seeing red though he had already been sent off twice before while featuring in the Argentine national team.