PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi blasts Lionel Messi’s FIFA World Cup claims
Lionel Messi had claimed that he was not honoured by PSG for FIFA World Cup triumph last year
Lionel Messi recently revealed that he was not recognised by his former side Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) for winning the FIFA World Cup trophy in Qatar last year. The revelation was quite shocking as it showcased the ruptured relationship between Messi and the PSG team management. Needless to say, the accusation did not go down well with PSG officials and club chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi has now lashed out at the Argentine superstar. While talking to RMC Sport, he categorically refuted Messi’s claims.
“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,” the PSG chairman said, as per Football Espana.
Lionel Messi-led Argentina were up against the French football team, featuring PSG star Kylian Mbappe, in last year’s World Cup final. Argentina prevailed over Les Bleus in the tie-breaker to become world champions in Qatar. While reflecting on his FIFA World Cup 2023 triumph, the former Barcelona footballer told ESPN, “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."
Messi did manage to win trophies during his two-year stint at PSG but his relationship with the French giants never appeared to be quite smooth. In May this year, he was even suspended by PSG for two weeks for taking an unsanctioned trip to Saudi Arabia.
Messi netted 32 goals in 75 appearances during his association with PSG. Despite his on-field brilliance, the 36-year-old could not guide PSG to the much-coveted Champions League title. His contract with PSG came to an end earlier this year in June.
When asked if he would have wanted not to move to the French capital, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner said, “It happened like that. It was not what I expected, but I always say things happen for a reason. Even if I wasn't well there, it happened that I was world champion while I was there."
Having capped off a two-year spell at PSG, Messi moved to the Major League Soccer (MLS) side Inter Miami during the summer transfer window. Messi has been in stellar form in Inter Miami and he has already guided the Herons to their maiden Leagues Cup title this season. Messi has so far scored 11 goals having played in 12 matches for Inter Miami.