Lionel Messi’s 2-week PSG suspension will see him miss out on more than £2million this month.
The 35-year-old maestro and 7-time Ballon d'Or winner has been linked with a number of moves away from the Parc de Princes, having endured a mixed season in the French capital.
Messi has been linked with a move to the Middle East, with Saudi League giants Al Hilal reportedly interested in his services, as well as a return to where his iconic career began Barcelona, and even links to the Major League Soccer in the USA never seem to end.
As if Messi’s relationship with PSG could not get any worse, the Albiceleste skipper has recently been sanctioned by his Qatari owners.
Pulse Sports reported that Lionel Messi was suspended for two weeks by PSG after taking an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia, an act that was deemed irresponsible and disrespectful by the club’s hierarchy.
In this article, we will break down the important details behind Lionel Messi’s PSG suspension as well as what it could mean for his already bleak future in the city of love.
Lionel Messi suspension: 7 Key details behind PSG star's 2-week punishment
1. Why did PSG suspend Lionel Messi?
According to reports, Lionel Messi was suspended by PSG for travelling to Saudi Arabia without formal authorization.
It’s no secret that Messi is a tourism ambassador for Saudi Arabia and often promotes the country’s undiscovered cultural highlights.
Messi was pictured with his wife, Antonela Rocuzzo and their children last week in Saudi Arabia.
The Argentine star also took to his official Instagram page with more than 458 million followers to make a post with a caption that read: “Who thought Saudi has so much green? I love to explore its unexpected wonders whenever I can. #visitsaudi”.
The post which was made on Sunday on Instagram is a paid partnership” with Visit Saudi, a subsidiary of the Saudi Tourism Authority.
Sources close to Messi say that the 2022 World Cup winner had committed to this visit after having postponed it twice.
It is part of its partnership for the promotion of tourism in Saudi Arabia for which Messi earns €30 million.
Messi did not wait for the agreement of Christophe Galtier or Luis Campos before leaving much to the shock of his PSG teammates.
The team would have been given two days off if they beat Lorient, but they lost.
So the Argentine was expected in training but his camp did not want to reschedule the trip for the umpteenth time.
2. Lionel Messi reportedly asked for permission to travel but was denied
BBC reports that Lionel Messi did indeed ask for permission to travel down to the Middle East to carry out a commercial gig but was refused, with the 35-year-old feeling obliged to make the trip down regardless.
And few hours after the news of Messi’s PSG suspension broke, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, the Saudi Minister of Tourism, released new photos of the visit of the Argentine star and his family.
Al-Khateeb posted on Twitter photos of Messi’s family with a caption that read: "Messi and his family treated themselves to a delicious selection of international cuisine and a luxurious shopping experience in Via Riyadh, followed by a fun afternoon of games, virtual reality experiences and quality family time at Riyadh City Boulevard."
3. Messi was suspended by PSG for 2 weeks without pay
Alongside the suspension, Lionel Messi will also not receive a penny from the club for two straight weeks.
Messi who is one of the highest earners at the Parc de Princes and one of the richest footballers in the world reportedly takes home a mouth-watering weekly payday of £1,080,582 via verified figures from Capology.
But the Argentine skipper will now miss out on over £2million of his monthly wages at the club.
4. PSG have reportedly ripped up plans to extend Messi’s contract
Messi’s latest Saudi trip did not go down well with Paris Saint Germain’s leaders who have now ultimately decided against renewing his contract which is due to expire this June.
L’Equipe reports that all the decision-makers at the Parisian club who were keen on La Pulga’s renewal have now made a swift u-turn as a consequence for Messi’s unauthorised trip.
It is understood that the optional one-year clause to extend his contract will therefore not be activated.
5. Lionel Messi's suspension signals the beginning of the end of his PSG career
Lionel Messi’s future appears to have been decided following the latest developments at PSG.
The 2-week suspension without pay leaves Messi at loggerheads with the club’s board and fans who have in recent months taunted the Argentine for his performances at the club.
So far this campaign, Messi has scored 20 goals and created 19 assists in all competitions for PSG.
However, the club’s disappointing exit in the quarterfinals of the Champions League saw the club supporters question his commitment to the club, months after he lifted the World Cup with Argentina in Qatar.
And reports suggest the PSG star could be edging closer to a return to Barcelona.
6. PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi is furious with Lionel Messi
Reports from the French media say that the PSG president slammed his fist on the table after Messi travelled without formal authorisation.
The Qatari boss who is still under investigation over allegations of kidnap reportedly re-iterated that ‘no player is above the club’.
7. Lionel Messi will miss 2 of the last 5 games for PSG in the league
Messi’s suspension now means he will miss PSG’s match away at Troyes on Sunday, May 7, before they play hosts to Ajaccio the following week.
However, he could be available for the remaining final three matches of the 2022/23 Ligue 1 season as the Qatari-owned club aim to win their 11th championship title.
21:43 - 02.05.2023
First reported by French newspaper L'Equipe, PSG manager Christophe Galtier told his players that they would have two days off, Monday and Tuesday if they beat Lorient on Sunday, but a defeat would result in the players being called in for training on Monday.
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Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi is said to have been handed a two-week suspension by the club.
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Paris Saint-Germain discuss possible punishment for Messi after unauthorised travel.
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