After traveling to Saudi Arabia without authorization, Lionel Messi was given a two-week suspension by PSG; Messi will leave the French club on a free transfer at the conclusion of the season; and Messi: “I want to apologise to my team-mates and the club… I’m waiting to find out how the club plans to use me.
Lionel Messi, a striker for Paris Saint-Germain, has expressed regret for his ‘unauthorised’ travel to Saudi Arabia, which resulted in the French club suspending him. Following Sunday’s 3-1 home loss to Lorient in Ligue 1, Messi acknowledged in a video apology that he “thought he had the day off” and that he is now “waiting to hear” from the team on his future.
“First and foremost, I want to apologize to my teammates and the club,” he stated. Sincerely, I had assumed that, like in earlier weeks, we would take a day off after the game.
“I previously canceled this trip that I had planned. Again, I was unable to cancel it. I’ll say it again: I want to apologize for what I did. I’m waiting to find out how the club plans to use me.
Following his suspension, it was made public on Wednesday that Messi would be leaving PSG at the end of the current campaign because the French champions had no intention of renewing his contract.
The Argentine international is said to have twice postponed a scheduled commercial trip because of team losses, but he is known to have sought PSG for permission to travel on a personal promotional tour to Saudi Arabia, which he did on Sunday night.
Messi, however, was denied that permission, and as a result, following a day of talks with the club’s hierarchy, he was given a two-game suspension and fined two weeks’ pay.
On Monday, the 35-year-old was photographed in Riyadh and announced his visit on social media. Messi already represents Saudi Arabia’s tourism industry.
The amount of response from the club, who have decided from publicly commenting, is evidence of a new strategy at PSG, led by president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, where everyone will be subject to the same laws and no one will be bigger than the club. Messi won’t play in the upcoming Ligue 1 games against Troyes and Ajaccio, although he might come back for the game on May 21 against Auxerre.
Messi, who arrived back in Paris on Tuesday, shared a photo of a line of palm trees on Instagram in collaboration with VisitSaudi along with the statement, “Who thought Saudi has so much green? I enjoy discovering its unforeseen surprises whenever I can. #visitsaudi.”
Over five and a half million people liked the post. When Messi’s contract with PSG expires this summer, Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal wants to sign him. With the support of the nation, they are willing to pay him an absurd £400 million for just one season in order to promote a league that would have both Cristiano Ronaldo and the 2022 World Cup champion.
Only hours after Messi had played the whole 90 minutes of PSG’s loss to Lorient, which reduced their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to just five points with as many games remaining, the tourism minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb tweeted a warm greeting to Messi and posted images of the Argentina World Cup winner.
Al-Khateeb tweeted, “I am pleased to welcome Messi and his family to Saudi Arabia to enjoy the magical tourist destinations and authentic experiences.” “We warmly invite guests from all over the world to enjoy a distinctive visit to Saudi Arabia and its hospitality.”
Messi left Barcelona in the summer of 2021 because of their financial difficulties, and he signed a two-year contract with PSG.
The 35-year-old has made 71 appearances for the French team, contributing to 31 goals and 34 assists while also winning the championship in 2022.
Sky Sports News is aware that PSG is open to hearing proposals for Neymar this summer.
Kaveh Solhekol, the chief reporter for Sky Sports News, evaluates where Messi and Neymar might wind up this summer as PSG cease their “bling-bling” culture. Messi is expected to leave PSG on a free transfer at the end of the season, while Neymar’s future at the club is questionable.