Messi apologizes to PSG after unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia
Lionel Messi took an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia and missed training early this week, landing the star player in hot water with his club.
Lionel Messi apologized to Paris Saint-Germain and his teammates on Friday after skipping training earlier in the week due to an unapproved vacation to Saudi Arabia.
Messi's future at PSG was brought into question on Wednesday after he was suspended by Paris Saint-Germain over his trip to Saudi Arabia without the club's permission.
The World Cup-winning captain apologized to his teammates and club in an Instagram story on Saturday.
Messi said he wanted to address "everything that's been happening."
“I sincerely thought we would have a free day after the match [against Lorient], as had happened in previous weeks.”
PSG banned Messi for two weeks after he left France to attend promotional engagements following Sunday's 3-1 loss to Lorient at the Parc des Princes.
Because of his trip to Saudi Arabia, the 35-year-old missed the team's Monday practice.
Messi explained that he couldn't cancel this particular trip and said he would "Await what the club decides."
The star player has struggled to make an impression at PSG and is expected to leave in the summer, according to reports.
Along with undated photos showing Messi resting with his family in the Gulf state, Saudi Tourism Minister Ahmed Al Khateeb tweeted Monday: "I am happy to welcome #Messi and his family to Saudi to enjoy the magical tourist destinations and authentic experiences."
I am happy to welcome #Messi and his family to Saudi to enjoy the magical tourist destinations and authentic experiences.— Ahmed Al Khateeb أحمد الخطيب (@AhmedAlKhateeb) May 1, 2023
We welcome visitors from all around the world to experience a unique trip to Saudi Arabia and its hospitality. 🇸🇦#WelcomeMessi pic.twitter.com/QQGdnAqQ08
Six days ago, Messi posted an Instagram photo captioned “Who thought Saudi has so much green? I love to explore its unexpected wonders whenever I can. #visitsaudi.”
View this post on Instagram
PSG head coach Christophe Galtier asked for greater transparency among his group of players in his scheduled news conference on Friday in order to reach their season's aim.
“We need to be united, to talk to each other, to avoid letting things go unsaid and to speak freely so that everyone can express themselves with a bit more freedom and so that everyone can perform with one aim: to be crowned champions at the end of the season,” Galtier stated.
PSG will play Troyes and Ajaccio in the following two weeks.
Messi's contract with Paris's best football club expires on June 30, and his journey to Saudi Arabia comes amid speculations that the 35-year-old may leave the club.
Having at one point looked set to extend his stay for another year, a source close to the club told AFP last month that Messi was now "much more likely" to depart.
Messi has scored 20 goals in all competitions this season and is the leading assist provider in Ligue 1, with 15 assists.
But his form since leading Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar has declined, along with that of most of the PSG team.
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