Kepa Arrizabalaga is not the first player to refuse a substitution. Lionel Messi also once refused to be substituted under Luis Enrique.
Kepa Arrizabalaga stirred a massive controversy last night when he refused to come off for Willy Caballero in the final of the Carabao Cup.
Chelsea lost the game in penalty-shootout after the goalkeeper failed to prevent the loss, despite making a save.
Arrizabalaga’s reaction triggered a huge controversy with fans and pundits criticising the goalkeeper for his behaviour. The Spaniard issued a statement in his defence in the hours following the incident. He explained that the situation was misunderstood.
Chelsea’s manager Maurizio Sarri also spoke along the similar lines in the post-match press conference.
But, did you know that Lionel Messi has also once refused to come off as a substitute? Yes, you read that right. The Barcelona superstar defied his manager once in 2014, under the charge of Luis Enrique.
The more I watch the Kepa incident, the more I lose sympathy for Sarri. He could have handled it so much better. Look furious on the touchline maybe, but let it go and then either kill Kepa or back him afterwards without all the drama once you have all the facts. He lost the plot
— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) February 25, 2019
When you try to substitute Kepa in Fantasy Premier League 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/phi1onGDOK
— Footy Humour (@FootyHumour) February 25, 2019
Barcelona were up against Eibar when Enrique decided to substitute Messi in the 76th minute of the game, moments after he scored the third goal for Barcelona in the game.
However, Messi raised his hand, suggesting that he wants to continue. The incident was followed by a rather concerning hand-waving from Luis Enrique, who talked to his coaching staff in an attempt to cover-up the situation.
Interestingly, Messi had scored his 250th La Liga goal in the game and needed only one more strike to equal the all-time goalscoring record in the history of the competition.
While Enrique refused to give a direct answer when asked about the incident in the post-match conference, he stated that he asks his players before making the change.
“Before making changes, we generally ask the players and we make the decision afterwards,” Enrique said at that time.
“What happened can be interpreted many ways, depending on who it serves. I will carry on doing what I have been doing.
“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.”
In the end, Enrique decided to bring off Neymar instead. Here’s the video:
Messi refuses to be substituted against Eibar .The two engaged in a war of hand-waving before Messi turned away his head, walking further up the field and ignoring his boss’ pleas. Enrique wanted resting messi for next match.#CHEMCI #sarri #KepaGate pic.twitter.com/I9018o3oaY
— Rohan waghe (@waghe_rohan) February 25, 2019