Like the late Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi has gotten a share of his ordeal in the hands of Athletic Bilbao while in Barcelona.
Though it seems Messi’s penalty was a bit milder with a two-match ban, Maradona’s case was not.
In the 1984 Copa del Rey final, which was played on May 4 at Santiago Bernebeu, Athletic Bilbao beat Barcelona 1-0 to win the Cup.
But that match apparently marked the end of Diego Maradona’s career with Barcelona. He was involved in a heated brawl with players of Bilbao, throwing punches at everyone of them after the match.
The furor started with Maradona head-butting Sola, a Bilbao player who mimicked him. Before he elbowed another player in the face, and kneed another in the head, knocking out cold.
The Bilbao squad surrounded Maradona to show some retribution. Then, the rest of the Barcelona squad joined in to help Maradona. From this point, Barcelona and Bilbao players brawled on the field with Maradona in the centre of the action, kicking and punching anyone in a Bilbao shirt.
The ugly incident happened in front of the SpanishKing Juan Carloswith an audience of 100,000 fans inside the stadium, and more than half of Spain were watching on television.
Fans began throwing solid objects on the field at the players, coaches and even photographers. Sixty people were reportedly injured, the incident sealed Maradona’s immediate transfer out of the club. It was his last game for Barcelona.
One Barca executive stated, “When I saw those scenes of Maradona fighting and the chaos that followed I realized we couldn’t go any further with him.”
Though Lionel Messi’s case is a bit different. While Barca played Atletico Bilbao in a Super Cup final Maradona played against Bilbao in Copa del Rey final.
More so, Lionel Messi’s got some support from Barcelona management, they appealed the two-match ban given to the Argentine.