Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has been banned for two domestic matches following his red card in the Supercopa de Espana final defeat to Athletic Bilbao.
Messi was dismissed in the 119th minute of Sunday’s game as he took a swing at Asier Villalibre in an off-the-ball incident that was spotted by the VAR, and referee Jesus Gil Manzano subsequently showed him the red.
It was the first time he has been sent off for the club and only the third red card in his entire 17-year career for Barca and Argentina.
Reports in Spain had suggested an extended ban could be imposed on Messi, and a statement by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed on Tuesday that he will be suspended for Barca’s next two games.
Therefore, he will miss the Copa del Rey game against Cornella and the league trip to Elche – he will return in time for another tussle with Villalibre and Athletic on January 31.