Barcelona skipper Lionel Messi could face a lengthy ban after his red card against Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup at the weekend. Lionel Messi was sent off during the game which ended in a surprising 3-2 win for Athletic Bilbao at the end of extra time.

Athletic Bilbao were massive underdogs ahead of the game but they didn’t let the tag affect them after the Basque club stunned their opponents in extra time courtesy the stunning goal from Inaki Williams. Spanish international Inaki Williams scored the fifth and the winning goal of the game in extra time after a 2-2 draw between the two teams at the end of 90 minutes.

Lionel Messi let his frustrations get the better of him towards the end of extra time with Athletic Bilbao closing in on a win. The Argentine national team captain received his marching orders for striking Athletic Bilbao player AsierVillalibre. It was the first red card for Lionel Messi in his club career and a third dismissal of his professional career having been sent off on two occasions in the colours of two-time world champions Argentina.

Reports in Spain claim that Messi could miss up to 12 games depending on how severe the incident is in the eyes of the Spanish Football Association (FA). Lionel Messi is expected to receive a ban from 1 to 12 games.

Lionel Messi would face from 1 to 3 matches if the playeris deemed not to have acted in a matter thought to be aggressive, while he could face from 4 to 12 matches if he’s found guilty of acting in an aggressive manner.  Barcelona and Lionel Messi have not had the best of seasons till date. They were starting to turn the corner in recent games until the Spanish Super Cup final clash with Athletic Bilbao.