PSG President Fires Back at Lionel Messi Over 2022 World Cup Recognition Comment

PSG President Fires Back at Lionel Messi Over 2022 World Cup Recognition Comment

Edwin Kiplagat
September 24, 2023 at 1:33 PM
  • Lionel Messi angered PSG fans last week with his controversial comments
  • He said the club didn't celebrate his 2022 World Cup win when he returned to the club
  • PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has explained why Messi is wrong

A few days ago, Lionel Messi aimed a slight dig at his former club, Paris Saint-Germain, claiming they never recognized him for his 2022 World Cup triumph.

The Inter Miami forward scored twice in the final and also scored a penalty in the shootout as Argentina won 4-2 on penalties against France.

Lionel Messi, 2022 World Cup, PSG, Inter Miami, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Barcelona
Lionel Messi didn't have a great relationship with PSG fans. Photos by Sebastien Muylaert and NurPhoto.
Source: Getty Images

Speaking to the media last week, Messi said he was one of the players from the Argentina squad who wasn't recognized by his club after winning the World Cup.

"I was the only player of the 25 that didn't get a [club] recognition. It was understandable ... because of us [Argentina], they [France] didn't retain the World Cup," via ESPN.

Messi's comments elicited angry reactions from PSG fans, who felt the Argentine star was lying. Some posted of Messi apparently getting celebrated by his teammates for his triumph.

The former Barcelona superstar spent two seasons at PSG, but he failed to settle in alongside Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi.

PSG president responds to Messi

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi explains why it was difficult to celebrate Messi's World Cup achievement.

“As everyone saw, because we even published a video, we celebrated Messi in training, and we also celebrated him in private,'' he said. “But with respect, we are a French club. It was of course sensitive to celebrate at the stadium. We must respect the country he defeated, his teammates on the France team, and our supporters too,' via RMC Sports.

Messi was given a guard of honour in training after enjoying a well-deserved break after winning the World Cup. He was given a memento for his achievements.

Martino explains Messi's injury

Sports Brief reported that Tata Martino explained Messi's injury against Toronto and downplayed fears the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner suffered a muscle injury.

The head coach claimed it was a scar from a previous injury, the same that kept him out of the game against Bolivia. The former PSG star was spotted holding his hamstring during warm-up.

Messi worried fans with his gesture on the bench, which made fans think something serious could be wrong. He sighed in exhaustion after taking his seat.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.
Lionel MessiLa Liga2022 FIFA World Cup