Contrary to what many people said after last night’s bizarre incident in the League Cup final, Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa isn’t the only player to refuse being substituted during a game.
In fact, one of the all-time greats decided to take it upon himself to tell a manager to not take him off.
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.
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
It comes to light after Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri was furious when goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to come off the pitch during the EFL Cup final.
The Blues ‘keeper looked like he had picked up a knock during extra-time, leaving the former Napoli boss to turn to substitute Willy Caballero.
However, the final took an interesting turn when the 24-year-old Spaniard refused to come off.
The Chelsea boss was lost for words, being called to the touchline to ask if the substitution was being made and then losing his temper in the dugout.
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