Monday, January 30, 2023

Lionel Messi barred from parading World Cup trophy on goalscoring return to PSG action

Lionel Messi barred from parading World Cup trophy on goalscoring return to PSG action

On his return to Ligue 1 play for Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night, Lionel Messi continued where he left off with a goal.

Three and a half weeks after winning the FIFA World Cup with Argentina, the footballing genius completed a sublime PSG move in the 72nd minute to double the lead against Angers. Hugo Ekitike’s goal in the fifth minute was followed by Nordi Mukiele’s second assist of the game when he played Messi through on goal.

The result increased PSG’s lead at the top of the table to six points after title rivals Lens drew 2-2 at relegation-threatened Strasbourg and dropped points. Before the match, Messi was prevented from parading the World Cup trophy through the Parc des Princes, which may have been a source of disappointment for him.

According to the French newspaper Le Parisien, PSG executives feared the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner would have been met with hostility from the club’s fans if he had done so.

Argentina’s victory in the World Cup final in Qatar prevented France from winning back-to-back titles.

Emiliano Martinez, the goalkeeper for Argentina’s Aston Villa, taunted Kylian Mbappe, the forward for France’s Paris Saint-Germain, repeatedly after the match.

Messi was greeted by a moving guard of honour upon his return to his club’s training facility in early January, but the PSG hierarchy decided against a special tribute to their World Cup-winning talisman prior to their match against Angers.

Messi’s contract with the club expires at the conclusion of the current campaign, but recent reports indicate he will extend his stay in the French capital.

PSG manager Christophe Galtier confirmed negotiations are underway to ensure the ex-Barcelona forward – who “appears content” – continues to shine at Parc des Princes.

“There are discussions, the sports management has exchanged with Leo on the subject of an extension,” Galtier said. “I do not know where it is. Leo seems happy to me in Paris. Afterwards, you have to see his position in relation to the project of the club. It’s a subject I don’t discuss with him.”

After leading Argentina to World Cup victory and winning the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player, Messi received a two-week vacation from PSG, the maximum amount of time off allowed.

His goal against Angers brought his total to 12 in all competitions, and he has contributed a remarkable 14 assists. He has also been in sensational form for his club this season.

Messi’s primary objective this season is to lead PSG to its first Champions League championship; Ligue 1 and Coupe de France victories are of lesser importance to the club’s leadership.

Lionel Messi barred from parading World Cup trophy on goalscoring return to PSG action

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