Messi in the Middle? PSG Clash With Argentina Over ‘Senseless’ International Call-Up

Published 11/10/2021, 10:30 AM EST
PARIS, FRANCE – AUGUST 13: Lionel Messi warms up during a Paris Saint-Germain training session at Ooredoo Center on August 13, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier – PSG/PSG via Getty Images)


The international breaks in soccer derail a lot of plans for many clubs because of its scheduling. Many managers have spoken about protecting their players in order to avoid serious injuries. With many meaningless friendlies played out between teams, new scheduling changes are being proposed by higher officials. Likewise, PSG sporting director Leonardo expressed his frustration on Lionel Messi playing for Argentina despite missing out on club matches with injuries. He has not held back from criticizing the national team for calling Messi up.

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PSG director unhappy with Lionel Messi

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The Argentinian has had a slow start to his PSG career. With many niggling injuries, he’s had the slowest start in his career and hasn’t scored any goals in the French league. He suffered knee and hamstring pains as he missed PSG’s game against Bordeaux. Hence, his recent national call-up irked PSG’s sporting director, and he did not hold back from criticizing the forward’s decision. The forward will play World Cup qualifying matches against Uruguay and Brazil.

However, Leonardo did not seem impressed.

“We don’t agree with letting a player, who isn’t fit to play for us and is in recovery, join up with his national side. It doesn’t make sense and this kind of situation needs to be discussed with FIFA,” said Leonardo.

 

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Although World Cup qualifiers make sense because of their importance, playing international friendly games has been subjected to criticism from all corners of the world. Hence, Messi’s recent call-up has not gone down well with the PSG officials. With his lack of fitness, it may be good for PSG if he sat out.

That said, he seems like a different player for his national side and looks determined to get the World Cup.

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Messi has a slow start

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After an incredible transfer window for PSG, the excitement has dropped down due to the team’s performances. Sergio Ramos is yet to feature on the French side while Messi’s form has not exactly been ideal. Although they lead the table with 10 points more than second-placed Lens, the lack of coordination with Messi on the pitch is important to notice.

They played the Argentinian forward on the right wing with many former soccer players like Thierry Henry calling out the manager to play him centrally. The job of a right-winger is to attack forward but to track back and help the defense. Messi is losing pace, but his technical abilities are right up there with the best. He can still pick an extraordinary pass while setting a blueprint for PSG’s attacks from the middle of the park. Hence, his drastic change would be visible if Pochettino gets him back to his best.

Soccer Football – Ligue 1 – Paris St Germain v Olympique Lyonnais – Parc des Princes, Paris, France – September 19, 2021 Paris St Germain’s Lionel Messi reacts REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

With the current international break turning out to be a head-scratching moment for the club, PSG would hope to find Messi back in form and in full fitness. It may be a cause for concern if he picks up another injury. Paris Saint Germain won’t be happy if that happens!

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Jacob Gijy

639 articles

Jacob Gijy is a US Sports and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the center the respect he deserves.

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