Paris Saint-Germain attacker Lionel Messi jetted to Saudi Arabia as a result of contractual duties, just hours after Lorient defeated the French capital based club at the Parc Des Princes.
Lionel Messi featured for the entire duration in PSG’s 3-1 loss on Sunday against 10th placed Lorient at their home turf.
That defeat was the first time PSG have lost a home encounter while shipping at least three goals since before the Qatari Sport Investment era.
But just hours after the loss, Messi made a trip to Saudi Arabia, a country where he is a tourism ambassador.
According to Le Parisien, the former Barcelona man was seen at Riyadh Airport upon his arrival. Messi, who has already visited the Gulf state, will supposedly spend “a few days” in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Minister welcomed Messi to the nation on social media, stating:
“I am happy to welcome Saudi Tourism Ambassador Lionel Messi and his family to his second vacation in Saudi. We are happy to share our authentic Saudi welcome with you all #WelcomeMessi.”
The world cup winner with Argentina also marked his visit to the country with a post he shared on social media:
“Who thought Saudi has so much green? I love to explore its unexpected wonders whenever I can. #visitsaudi”
If Lionel Messi, based on what French media outlet Le Parisien are reporting, remains in Saudi Arabia for “a few days” he will likely have a distorted preparation for PSG’s visit to the Stade de l’Aube to face ESTAC Troyes next Sunday.
Lionel Messi wasn’t given permission to make the trip
Anyway, based on reports emanating from France, French media outlet L’Equipe reveals that neither Luis Ocampos nor Christophe Galtier approved Lionel Messi’s trip to Saudi Arabia.
Lionel Messi reportedly thought that he would be able to fulfil these contractual obligations with the two days off the team was given after a match on Sunday.
But with the embarrassing loss at home to FC Lorient, the day off on Monday was canceled, with players arriving as normal for a training session.
Following the confirmation of this week’s schedule, Messi did not get the permission of Campos nor Galtier before making the trip to Saudi Arabia.
The Argentine had already been forced to postpone the trip due to poor results, notably after the defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
With the incoming unbearably hot temperature in Saudi Arabia, it wasn’t possible to postpone the visit an additional time.
The 7-time-Ballon D’or winner’s absence from training on Monday caused a long range of discussion in the changing room, with some players “shocked” that he made the trip to the middle east.
Lionel Messi has been rumored to join Barcelona in the summer after reports claim contract talks between his camp and PSG have yielded no headway.
The 35-year-old has netted 15 goals and provided 15 assists in 28 Ligue 1 games this campaign, his best tally since he joined the Parisians in the summer of 2021.