•  Lionel Messi recently hit out as PSG’s treatment of him after the World Cup
  •  Nasser al-Khelaifi has now hit back but admitted it was a ‘sensitive’ time
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast It’s All Kicking Off! 

Paris Saint-Germain chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi has hit back at Lionel Messi’s claim that he was the only member of Argentina’s World Cup-winning squad not to be recognized by his club.

The 36-year-old and the Albiceleste beat France in Qatar last winter to win the 2022 World Cup while he was still at PSG.

In a recent interview with Migue Granados on OLGA, Messi admitted he ‘wasn’t happy’ at the Parc des Princes and seemed disappointed with his treatment after the World Cup.

‘It was understandable,’ he said, ‘we were in a situation where we [Argentina] were world champions and it was our fault that they [France] weren’t champions once again.’

Both Messi and his PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe starred in a thrilling final in Qatar, scoring five goals between them as Argentina won on penalties.

Nasser al-Khelaifi has hit back at Lionel Messi's claim that he was not shown recognition from PSG after Argentina's World Cup win

Nasser al-Khelaifi has hit back at Lionel Messi’s claim that he was not shown recognition from PSG after Argentina’s World Cup win

Messi was named man of the match in the final as Argentina beat France on penalties

He struggled to win over the Parc des Princes faithful

The legendary forward felt he was the ‘only’ squad member who was not celebrated by his club

Messi continued: ‘I was the only player that wasn’t recognized by his club compared to the other 25 Argentinian players.’

Al-Khelaifi has now given a different version of events. In quotes carried by Football Espana, he said: ‘As everyone saw, because we even published a video, we celebrated Messi in training, and we also celebrated him in private.

‘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.’

Messi scored 32 goals in 75 appearances during his time in the French capital, winning back-to-back Ligue 1 titles in the process. 

However, he was unable to guide PSG beyond the last 16 of the Champions League and left for MLS side Inter Miami in June.

Messi’s time at the club was not without controversy, with the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner suspended for two weeks earlier this year after taking an unsanctioned trip to Saudi Arabia. 

Meanwhile, suggestions of a fractured relationship with fellow forwards Mbappe and Neymar dominated the final months of last season.

He has already led his new club to silverware in the inaugural Leagues Cup, in which he scored 10 goals in seven appearances.

However, the legendary forward will not play in his side’s clash with Orlando City on Sunday after being forced off with muscle fatigue in their last game. His absence has drastically lowered the price of tickets for the clash.

Messi has already won the League Cup with new club Inter Miami and has 11 goals in 12 games for the MLS side

Messi has already won the League Cup with new club Inter Miami and has 11 goals in 12 games for the MLS side


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

Post source: Daily mail

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