Lionel Messi has been regarded as one of the calmer players in the football pitch, only until now. The little magician has been rarely seen venting his frustrations on the pitch during competitive games, but the same thing cannot be said about preseason friendlies.
In a Joan Gamper trophy game last night at the Camp Nou where Barcelona won 3-0 against Roma, Lionel Messi lost his temper as he headbutted and choked Roma defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
The Barca superstar, as well as the Roma defender, might have got off with a yellow card, but it was rather a moment of surprise seeing Messi get physical on a football pitch.
France international Yanga-Mbiwa lost his temper after his team failed to convert their chances, as they trailed 1-0 in the opening half. In the 34th minute of the game, the Frenchman sneaked in his head towards the Barca skipper and made contact, and all hell broke loose.
Messi reacted instantly with a headbutt on the former Newcastle man and the Argentine grabbed the throat of Yanga-Mbiwa and shoved him away.
Spanish referee Javier Estrada Fernandez was joined by Roma defender Leandro Castan, as the duo stepped in to separate the two players and prevented any further problems.
Messi, however, got back to doing what he does best, as he scored just seven minutes later to make the scoreline 2-0, and build on Neymar's opening strike.
The icing on the cake was decorated by Croatian playmaker Ivan Rakitic, whose powerful shot on goal in the 2nd half from 30 yards out bulleted into the top corner and left Wojciech Szczesny, who made his move from Arsenal to Roma this summer, helpless.
Twitter reacted with surprise and sarcasm following the altercation that involved Messi. While some complained of the referee being too lenient, others said that it was the evil power of Messi's latest tattoo that brought out the beast in him!