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Lionel Messi Should Have Been Sent Off For His Outburst in Game With Alaves, Says Spanish Referee

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.

"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.

​Some users said that the athlete deserved a suspension for several games.

​Many users said that the outburst was the athlete’s way of showing he doesn’t want to stay in Barca.

​Others sided with Messi, saying the referee made a lot of mistakes during the game.

​Still others noted that Messi wasn’t sent off because the referee is a Barca fan.

​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.

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