Lionel Messi headbutts, throttles Roma player during friendly

Losing the World Cup final and Copa America final by narrow margins in consecutive years will take its toll on anyone, and Lionel Messi is no different. So in a friendly between Barcelona and Roma, Messi snapped and took his pent-up aggression out on defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

During a stoppage in play, Yanga-Mbiwa appeared to say something to Messi and the two players then pushed their heads together. Messi then put his hand around Yanga-Mbiwa’s throat before they were separated and both shown yellow cards.

This is very uncharacteristic behavior from the giggly, Lego-loving Messi we have come to know, but maybe his disappointments with Argentina have caused him to adopt a darker mindset and turn heel. Could this be the start of the Hollywood Leo era?

Tatted up Messi don’t play.