Lionel Messi was involved in a heated exchange with Atletico Madrid’s youngster Joao Felix as Barcelona was knocked out of the Spanish Super Cup Thursday.
Messi, who won his sixth Ballon d’Or last year, came face to face with the youngster as tensions almost boiled over between the two semifinalists.
Portuguese sensation Felix, compared by some to his compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo, had initially clashed with Barca defender Jordi Alba moments before the half-time whistle, appearing to slap away a finger pointed in his face.
Messi was in no mood to let this slide and waited for the 20-year-old as the players began to walk off the pitch.
The Barcelona captain stood in the way of Felix as the pair continued to argue, needing players from both teams to separate them.
Ultimately, it was Felix who got the last laugh as his side scored two late goals and progress to Sunday’s final against city rivals Real Madrid.
Atletico strike late
Diego Simeone’s side took the lead early in the second half courtesy of Koke but goals from Messi and Antoine Griezmann seemingly put the Catalan club in control.
However, Alvaro Morata converted a penalty with less than 10 minutes remaining before Angel Correa netted a clinical winner for Atletico in the 86th minute.
There is a new format for this season’s Spanish Super Cup with the top two clubs from La Liga and the two finalists from the Copa del Rey competing in a four-team competition in Saudi Arabia.
The decision to relocate the tournament has drawn criticism from human rights groups.