FC Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre has played down Lionel Messi’s clash with AS Roma defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, claiming that such incidents are “normal” in football.
While FC Barcelona cruised to a 3-0 win over AS Roma to win the Joan Gamper trophy, Lionel Messi caused controversy by grabbing Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa by the neck and appearing to headbutt him after exchange of words between the two.
Both players were booked for their role in the altercation.
Mestre defends Messi
Despite the FC Barcelona superstar coming under criticism for being the aggressor, the vice-president of the Catalan giants brushed the incident off as “normal”
Mestre was quoted saying to reporters by Goal.com: “It is what happens in football games. I think it is anecdotal and there is no reason for giving this chapter more importance.”
“It happens and it will keep happening in the future. It is normal when you play football.”
Messi scored in the game with a deft finish from the edge of the box. He also played an outrageous pass in the build-up to Neymara s goal as FC Barcelona cruised to a 3-0 win.
However, soon after, the Argentine striker was involved in an altercation with former Newcastle defender Yanga-Mbiwa. The Argentine superstar lost his cool and headbutted the French defender before momentarily grabbing him by the throat.
The four time Ballon Da Or winner has always been praised for his calm demeanour. However, he lost his cool this time around. The specifics behind the altercation between the two are not yet known.
Ivan Rakitic also scored a rocket in the second half to seal the win for FC Barcelona.