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5 Players Who ‘Went Away’ Without Permission After Messi Goes Missing for PSG
- PSG have reportedly suspended Lionel Messi for two weeks after an unsanctioned trip to Saudi Arabia
- The Argentine World Cup winner was expected to take part in team training after the defeat to Lorient
- Carlos Tevez and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are other high-profile players who faced similar issues
It is very rare to hear that Lionel Messi is dominating news headlines for the wrong reasons. He has led a highly illustrious career, often accompanied by a humble nature that has endeared him to millions worldwide.
Only that this time, he might have ruffled a few feathers at Paris Saint-Germain, with multiple outlets reporting the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner took an unsanctioned trip to Saudi Arabia.
L'equipe reports that Christophe Galtier had planned to give the team two days off, had they beaten Lorient on April 30.
However, PSG were shocked 3-1 after going down to 10 men after just 20 minutes, following Archaf Hakimi's dismissal.
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Messi is said to have planned and postponed a trip to the Middle East for some time, deciding to fly to the Middle East with his family despite his manager's instructions.
However, as history suggests, the Argentine is not the only player to have gone AWOL in recent times. Most times, players do so to try and force a move away.
1. Harry Kane
Club CEO, Daniel Levy stood his ground and the striker later apologised to the fans.
2. Peter Odemwingie
There has never been better deadline-day drama than Odemwingie driving all the way from West Bromwich to Queens Park, hoping to seal a last-minute move in 2013.
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The Nigerian even gave interviews and signed autographs, only for the deal to fall through.
3. Dimitri Payet
Payet went on a go-slow when he refused to play for West Ham in January 2017. The Hammers declined to cede ground but after two-and-a-half weeks, the player was granted a move to Marseille, per the Standard.
4. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Currently undergoing a rough patch at Chelsea, Aubameyang has had his fair share of disciplinary issues in his career. It started in his last season at Borussia Dortmund, where he skipped a couple of sessions before the club granted his wish to move to Arsenal in January 2017.
The script repeated itself when he fell out with Mikel Arteta after an extended period of time off. He was stripped of the captaincy and eventually sold to Barcelona, where he only stayed for a few months.
5. Carlos Tevez
The striker fell out with Roberto Mancini when he refused to come off the bench in a Champions League tie against Bayern Munich.
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He then declined to continue with training sessions and chose to play golf in his native Argentina instead. However, the two made up just in time for Tevez to help the Citizens to win their first title of the new ownership.
Details of Messi's Saudi trip
Sports Brief also reported on Messi’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia putting his relationship with PSG coach, Christophe Galtier and sporting director, Luis Campos in doubt.
The 35-year-old had reportedly requested permission from the officials to travel to Saudi Arabia, where he serves as an ambassador for their 2030 World Cup bid.
However, it is believed Messi went above Campos and Galtier to the club’s top brass, who then allowed the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner to fly out to Riyadh.