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Lionel Messi must follow strict new MLS rule which would have massively changed iconic Barcelona moment

Lionel Messi must follow strict new MLS rule which would have massively changed iconic Barcelona moment

Messi might never have had his moment.

Lionel Messi will have to follow a new rule this season that might have prevented one of his iconic Barcelona moment from ever happening.

From his celebration against Real Madrid to his solo goal against Athletic Bilbao, his free-kick against Liverpool to his evisceration of Jerome Boateng, Messi produced some magical moments in a Barcelona shirt.

However, one of his most iconic moments came during a stoppage in play in Barca's famous 5-0 demolition of Real Madrid in El Clasico in 2010.

Yet it might never have happened.

Major League Soccer have rolled out new rules for the 2024 season to combat time wasting.

According to ESPN's Dale Johnson, if Messi or one of his Inter Miami teammates leaves the field for medical treatment, then they will not be able to return to the game for two minutes.

The new rule is designed to prevent players from feigning injury in a bid to waste time and run the clock down, only to immediately return to the pitch as soon as the game resumes.

The change covers players treated off the field, but there will be exemptions for those who don't require medical staff, who voluntarily go off for treatment, or who suffer head injuries, cardiac issues of life-threatening events.

Messi's iconic moment might not have happened (

If those rules had been enforced in La Liga in 2010/11, then one memorable Messi moment might not have happened.

With Barcelona 5-0 up against Madrid at Camp Nou, the Argentine was hacked from behind by Sergio Ramos.

As he slowly walked off the field - he didn't actually receive treatment when he reached the sideline - past a dejected Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi made a point of starring up at his adoring fans and the Camp Nou scoreboard, which read 'Barca 5-0 Real Madrid'.

The superstar might have been less inclined to waste time had he faced a two-minute delay before returning to the pitch.

MLS will also prevent substitutes from entering the game for 60 seconds if the player they are replacing doesn't leave the pitch within 10 seconds.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Lionel Messi, Barcelona, Real Madrid, El Clasico, MLS, Football, Sergio Ramos