7 times Lionel Messi proved that he too can be as dirty as they come
- When the world's best player unleashed his dark side
#6 Messi vs Pepe (2012)
On January 18, 2012, Barcelona faced Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey first leg quarter-final at the Bernabeu. Barcelona won this fixture 2-1 in a match that Pepe stomped Messi's hand with around 20 minutes left to play. The incident was not spotted by any match official and the already-booked Pepe finished the match unscathed.
In the second leg at Nou Camp, what Messi did was seen as revenge play on the Portuguese centre back. Minutes before halftime, Messi tracked Pepe from behind on the right flank and made a blatant challenge. This earned him a booking with the home fans mercilessly applauding the foul given that Pepe was eligible to play after that first leg incident.
#5 Kicking the ball at Real Madrid fans
Messi was on the spot in April 2011 during the El Clasico at the Bernabeu. In stoppage time of that closely-contested encounter, he chased down the ball that was going out play and did the unexpected.
On judging that he would not reach the ball on time, he wildly kicked the ball at the Real Madrid fans in frustration. This did not go down well with the home supporters and Madrid players alike. It was unusual behaviour for a player who had built a solid reputation for being calm on the field.Published 07 Jun 2018, 18:43 IST