Lionel Messi has been given a two-week suspension by Paris Saint-Germain after missing training without permission to travel to Saudi Arabia.
Following his unauthorized absence from training to visit Saudi Arabia, World Cup winner Lionel Messi has reportedly been suspended by PSG for two weeks without pay.
The visit was scheduled in advance by the 35-year-old Argentine captain as part of one of his professional obligations as an ambassador for tourism in Saudi Arabia.
PSG players were meant to have Monday as an off day, but manager Christophe Galtier decided to summon the team in for practice after their 3-1 loss to Lorient on Sunday, April 30.
But Messi couldn’t attend the training session since he had already planned to travel to Saudi Arabia.
The 35-year-old was seen on Monday in Riyadh instead of being at the club’s training session. Hence, the Ligue 1 giants have suspended him for two weeks and won’t be participating in team training during that period.
The Argentina captain will therefore be absent from PSG’s upcoming matches against Troyes on Sunday and Ajaccio on May 13 but he might play against Auxerre on May 21.
Meanwhile, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is currently nearing the end of a two-year contract with the Ligue 1 champions.
And according to a recent report from Sky Sports News, he was delaying his consent to sign a new contract because he wanted to see PSG’s sporting plans for the upcoming season.
Lionel Messi’s potential transfer to Saudi club.
There is no evidence that Al Hilal’s reported offer of £400 million transfer deal, had anything to do with his travel.
However, Messi was given the option to play for them and the Argentine is believed to be considering the move.
Messi already represents the nation’s tourism industry in the Middle Eastern region.
Saudi Arabia tourism minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb tweeted a welcome message to Messi and posted pictures of the Argentina World Cup winner after Messi landed in the country.
“I am happy to welcome Messi and his family to Saudi to enjoy the magical tourist destinations and authentic experiences,” Al-Khateeb tweeted. “We welcome visitors from all around the world to experience a unique trip to Saudi Arabia and its hospitality.”
Messi’s contract with PSG
In the summer of 2021, he joined PSG from Barcelona on a two-year contract, worth €30 million per year. The deal included the option of a third year at the same rate.
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar Lionel Messi is one of the highest-paid players in the world, as he reportedly takes home a $41 million annual net salary, including add-ons. His weekly salary stands at over $788,000.
In total, the contract provided Messi a $161 million annual base salary, a $135 million signing bonus, and a $91 million-plus loyalty payment.
Lionel Messi’s stats at PSG
The seven-time Ballon d’Or holder has been impressive this season despite his old age. Messi has featured in 37 matches for PSG and he has scored 20 goals with 19 assists.
In total, Lionel Messi has played 71 matches in all competitions since he arrived at PSG, scoring 31 goals with 34 assists.
Following Messi’s contract expiration and his skepticism to sign another one, could it be that he will rival Cristiano Ronaldo by joining one of the Saudi clubs?