Lionel Messi Displays Superb Sportsmanship By Telling Ref Not To Give Penalty

Lionel Messi came up with a brilliant bit of sportsmanship in Barcelona's win over Rayo Vallecano at the weekend.

The Argentine showed his class by telling the referee not to award a penalty kick in his favour following one his signature slaloming runs in the box.

He rinsed two players with his fancy footwork but the third got his body in front and stopped Messi in his tracks. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner stumbled to the floor after losing his balance but the referee asked for a VAR review on the incident.

However, Messi immediately told him that he was not fouled and play continued. Twitter users hailed Messi for his superb sportsmanship:

Messi would then go on to supply an assist as well as converting a penalty in a 3-1 win which took them seven points clear at the top of La Liga.

The 31-year old now has 26 goals and 12 assists in La Liga, making him the top goalscorer and assister in Europe's top five leagues by quite some distance.

Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

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