Lionel Messi was overheard expressing fear that a referee wanted to book him during Barcelona's late win over Valladolid – which would have ruled him out of this Saturday's El Clasico.
Barca grabbed a last-gasp winner at the Nou Camp on Sunday to keep their La Liga title hopes alive, with Ousmane Dembele's stoppage-time strike handing them a vital set of three points.
Nevertheless, the Catalans' dramatic win was somewhat overshadowed by the performance of referee Santiago Jaime Latre, who dominated the headlines by making several controversial decisions.
And during the half-time break, Messi could be heard complaining about Latre.
Movistar+ microphones picked up the Barca superstar telling a club delegate: "The referee wants to give me a yellow card, incredible."
If Messi was handed a yellow card by Latre, he would have been due to serve a one-match suspension and miss out on Saturday's crunch clash with arch-rivals Real Madrid.
Fortunately, though, he managed to avoid the punishment throughout the second half.
The Ballon d'Or legend will therefore be available to lock horns with Los Blancos in El Classico this weekend.
Yet while Messi voiced his concerns with Latre, it was Valldolid who felt most aggrieved by his decisions on the night.
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The visitors were first denied a penalty in the second half at the Nou Camp despite replays appearing to show Jordi Alba handling the ball inside the box.
Oscar Plano was then shown a red card for a late challenge on eventual-goalscorer Dembele with 10 minutes remaining in Catalonia.
And when Dembele turned in the winner for Ronald Koeman's men, Valladolid felt Alba had actually committed a foul in the build-up to his late goal.
The Frenchman's strike was allowed to stand, however, and Barca now sit just a point behind La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid.
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