Lionel Messi had recently criticized his former club PSG, claiming that he did not receive a proper reception from the club and his teammates on his return to the French capital after winning the Qatar 2022 World Cup, unlike his other Argentine teammates.
Messi has now made a move to the MLS club Inter Miami, leaving the French champions after two seasons. Argentina defeated the defending world champions, France, in the final on penalties in Qatar. Now, the PSG president has responded to Messi’s comments.
Nasser Al-Khelaifi hits back at Lionel Messi
Nasser Al-Khelaifi the president of Paris Saint Germain has denied all the claims and accusations made by their former player of not getting congratulated by the club and colleagues in Paris.
In his club’s defense, the president refused the allegations, stating that PSG had welcomed Messi with a guard of honor in a training session. The club had previously published the video and Al-Khelaifi feels that the Parisians had done enough to congratulate their former player upon his return from World Cup glory.
“We celebrated Messi in training, and we also celebrated him in private”, Al-Khelaifi said in his response.
“But with respect, we are a French club. It is of course sensitive to celebrate at the stadium. We should respect the country he defeated, his teammates on the France team, and our supporters too.”, he added further.
The Qatari owner stated that Argentina defeated France in the final, thus due to respect for French people and fans they had a limited amount of celebration. PSG is a French football club after all. The club didn’t want to hurt the sentiments of home fans, who wouldn’t take kindly to grand celebrations in honor of the Argentine captain on French soil, as it was France that Lionel Messi’s men had dismantled in the World Cup Final.
In two seasons, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner had 67 goal contributions in a total of 75 appearances and won consecutive league titles along with Parisians. He also led them to their ‘Trophee des Champions’ victory while being MVP of the tournament. During his tenure at PSG, Messi collected his seventh Ballon d’Or and FIFA THE BEST, while also being the recipient of the prestigious Laureus Sportsman of the Year and multiple IFFHS awards.
Messi sparks debate over PSG’s response to World Cup victory
The Argentina captain, Lionel Messi claimed to not getting enough recognition at the Club. The 36-year-old said his other national teammates such as Lisandro Martinez and Alexis Mac Allister received more acknowledgement from their respective teams upon return from their world cup victory.
In a recent interview, Messi said, “I was the only player of the squad that didn’t get a club recognition. It was understandable because of Argentina, France didn’t retain the World Cup.”
Messi’s remarks have sparked controversy, and Al-Khelaifi has now replied to the player, denying the allegations. It remains to be seen whether Messi will have more to say on the issue.