Lionel Messi Once Refused To Be Substituted While Playing For Barcelona

Jack Kenmare

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On this day in 2019, Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa refused to be substituted during the club's Carabao Cup final clash against Manchester City and well, it all kicked off.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri understandably lost his head as poor Willy Caballero stood and waited on the touchline.

It was a remarkable scene, of course, but Kepa isn't the only player to defy orders when it comes to being substituted. In fact, one of the all-time greats decided to take it upon himself to keep himself on the pitch.

Lionel Messi gestured that he didn't want to leave the pitch in a La Liga match against Eibar in 2014, putting his thumbs up to indicate his feelings.

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique held out his hands, questioning why Messi didn't want to come off in the 75th minute, but the five-time Ballon d'Or winner won the battle.

Messi's former teammate Neymar was eventually chosen to replace Munir El Haddadi and the incident was brushed under the carpet.

Following the game, Enrique spoke about the incident and played it down to some degree, but it's clear that Messi didn't want to be subbed.

"What happened can be interpreted many ways, depending on who it serves. I will carry on doing what I have been doing." he told ESPN.

"I have to take everything into account, but I trust in how he feels and what he tells me.

"Sometimes I look around me on the bench and think how lucky we are to have Messi. For us it is not just about what he does on the pitch. He is also a great motivator for his teammates."

Image: La Sexta

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, meanwhile, was absolutely furious when goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to come off the pitch during an entertaining EFL Cup final.

It looked like the Spaniard had picked up a knock during extra-time, leaving the former Napoli boss turning towards substitute shot-stopper Willy Caballero.

But the 24-year-old Spaniard straight up refused to come off.

The Chelsea boss was unsurprisingly lost for words. He called to ask if the substitution was being made and then lost his temper completely in the dugout. Blimey.

Never forget.

Featured Image Credit: La Liga

Topics: Kepa, Chelsea, Football, Barcelona, Neymar, Lionel Messi, La Liga

Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some of the biggest names in sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.
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