CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Messi's stern telling-off from Champions League referee: "Show some respect!"

In the trailer for 'Man in the Middle', UEFA's new documentary on Champions League referees, Lionel Messi can be seen getting it in the neck from Björn Kuipers during Barcelona's 2018/19 semi-final against Liverpool.

UEFA, European football's governing body, is preparing to release a four-part documentary series on the referees in the Champions League, the continent's top club competition.

Called 'Man in the Middle', the series is due to premiere on UEFA.tv on Monday 16 December.

"Candid on-field exchanges" in 'Man in the Middle'

"Thanks to its unprecedented access, the documentary reveals the hidden sides of refereeing – from candid footage of on-field exchanges with players to personal interviews about the pressures of balancing a high-profile job with family commitments," UEFA says.

Kuipers tells off time-wasting Messi in Barcelona-Liverpool clash

One such "on-pitch exchange" is featured in the trailer, as Dutch referee Björn Kuipers delivers a stern ticking-off to Barcelona star Lionel Messi during the Blaugrana's 2018/19 Champions League semi-final with Liverpool.

"Messi, come on, show some respect," Kuipers can be heard yelling at the Argentine, who is apparently time-wasting, during Barça's 3-0 first-leg win over the Reds. "Every time you do it!"

Messi may now wish he had been in more of a hurry to add to Barça's tally at the Camp Nou, as Liverpool went on to complete a famous second-leg comeback, winning 4-0 at Anfield to reach the final, where they beat Tottenham.