Lionel Messi ‘has received a TWO WEEK ban and a fine from PSG for an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia’
French publications RMC Sport and L’Equipe reported on Tuesday evening that the World Cup-winning superstar had been banned from playing for PSG or training with his team-mates for a fortnight, meaning he will miss the next Ligue 1 matches against a threat of relegation. duo Troyes (May 7) and AC Ajaccio (May 13). Messi was also reportedly fined.
The 35-year-old reportedly traveled to Saudi Arabia, where he has served as an ambassador for the country’s tourist board since May 2022, for a two-day trip on Monday, an absence which L’Equipe say was not sanctioned by PSG. , coach Christophe Galtier or sports director Luis Campos.
Messi will then be available to play for PSG when they travel to Ligue 1 to face Auxerre at the Stade de l’Abbé-Deschamps on May 21. Galtier’s team will then close the season with a pair of matches against Strasbourg and Clermont.
According to RMC Sport and L’Equipe, relayed by Get French Football News, PSG were not initially supposed to train on Monday, but were called up following Sunday’s sad 3-1 home defeat against Lorient in which Messi started and played the full 90 minutes and Achraf Hakimi was sent off.
Messi was not present at his Camp des Loges training ground, hence the ensuing sanction. The BBC reports that the player asked PSG for permission to travel to Saudi Arabia for commercial work but was refused.
Messi’s £25m-a-year contract at the Parc des Princes is due to expire this summer but it remains to be seen whether he will consider an extension amid constant rumors of a dream return to Barcelona.
Messi joined PSG in a blockbuster deal in the summer of 2021 after financially-struggling Barca could not afford to keep him despite taking a big pay cut amid spending rules strictest in LaLiga.
He has since scored 31 goals and 34 assists in 71 total appearances in all competitions for the French giants, including 20 and 19 in 37 outings this season. However, he has been frequently criticized by fans for his performances in 2022/23, with PSG on course for another Ligue 1 title but knocked out of the Champions League and Coupe de France early on as a another change of direction is potentially looming this summer.
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