PSG's Messi apologises for unauthorised Saudi trip

 

MESSI Lionel of Paris Saint Germain (PSG) in action during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and FC Lorient at The Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris, France, on April 30, 2023.

Lionel Messi has apologised to his Paris St-Germain teammates and says he will wait for the club to decide what they want to do with him after making an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia.

The Argentina captain was suspended by the club for two weeks for the trip.

It followed PSG’s home defeat by Lorient on Sunday – their third in six games – when Messi played 90 minutes.

“I am sorry for what I did and I wait to see what the club decides,” Messi said in a video posted on Instagram.

“I honestly thought we were going to have the day off after the match as had happened in the previous weeks.

“I had organised this trip to Saudi Arabia having cancelled it previously. This time I couldn’t cancel it.”

Messi is set to leave PSG when his contract expires in the summer.

The 35-year-old, who has also been fined by the club, has a role as a tourism ambassador for Saudi Arabia.

PSG manager Christophe Galtier says he had “nothing to do with” Messi’s suspension, while also condemning fan protests outside players’ homes.

“Leo’s suspension has added to poor performances, we can’t hide behind that,” Galtier, 56, said on Friday.

“The decision was nothing to do with me. I was informed of the decision. I can’t say it has been a pleasant period.”

PSG top Ligue 1 by five points with five games to play but are out of the Champions League and lost in the last 16 of the French Cup. There were fan protests following their defeat to Lorient.

Fans also gathered outside the home of the club’s Brazilian forward Neymar on Wednesday, chanting for him to leave the club.

The 31-year-old is out for rest of the reason because of an ankle injury.

The actions of the supporters prompted the club to increase security at the homes of Messi, Neymar, Italy midfielder Marco Verratti and Galtier, as well as at the club’s training ground.

“Regarding the protests in front of a player’s home, we have to be careful with that. Private life must remain private,” said Galtier.

“I can understand the anger, the disappointment of our fans. You may protest at the training ground or at the PSG office or after a match at the Parc des Princes but I cannot accept it at anyone’s house.

“There is a lot of these things happening at the moment, and they can be uncontrollable and dangerous.”

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