Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman defends the indefensible by hoping Lionel Messi’s ban is reduced

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Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has, perhaps optimistically, revealed his hope that Lionel Messi’s two-game suspension will be reduced.

Messi was sent off in Barcelona’s defeat to Athletic Club, having lashed out at an opponent in uncharacteristic fashion. It was the first time he has ever been sent off in a club match.

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You’d think Messi’s indefensible, with there being clear intent to hurt his opponent when he made the contact. However, perhaps as a result of him being the golden boy of Barcelona, his manager has come out and defended him in the press.

In fact, Koeman, speaking ahead of Barca’s cup clash with Cornellla tomorrow, revealed his hope that Messi’s two game ban will in fact be reduced and the attacker, whose contract expires in the summer, will be available to feature sooner than originally thought.

Perhaps he has to say this in order for Barcelona’s appeal to stand a chance of being successful – but does it anyway?

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