Lionel Messi was gifted a guard of honor by his teammates at the training ground upon his return
Weeks after piloting Argentina to a World Cup final triumph, the Argentina superstar has now reported back to club duty with Paris Saint-German.
In time for Saturday’s French Cup match against Chateauroux, Lionel Messi returned to a guard of honour by teammates and the club’s employees at the training ground in Paris.
PSG’s Sporting Director Luis Campos presented Messi with a gold trophy with a star and his name to commemorate his World Cup victory.
“I want to thank everyone for the welcome I received, from all the employees, my teammates and the staff. I’m happy, and I’m going to get ready for the upcoming challenges,” Messi said upon his recognition.
After a few days’ holiday, he is now ready to get back into the swing of things.
“I’m going to prepare myself physically, train well, get back into the swing of things so that I’m ready when the staff decide that I can play,” the football icon added.
Kylian Mbappe and Achraf Hakimi were not present at Messi’s return as both footballers have been on a club-sanctioned 10-day break in the United States, making appearances in New York.
However, Neymar was pictured congratulating Messi on his World Cup crusade.
Since the World Cup, there have been speculations of tension between Messi and Mbappe, who netted a hat trick in the final.
PSG Head Coach Christophe Galtier has rejected the rumours, citing blame on Messi’s teammates, specifically Emiliano Martínez, for his actions during the World Cup celebrations in Argentina.
Martinez held a baby doll of Mbappe on Argentina’s team open-top bus, mocking the French footballer.
“It wasn’t Leo Messi winding anybody else up. What I saw after the final, what I have experienced, is there is no reason to mix these things up because the goalkeeper’s behaviour is down to him,” Galtier said.
“What matters to me is the relationship between the players. Kylian Mbappe had a very good attitude, despite losing. Of course he was very disappointed, but he did that in a classy way,” he added.
“He congratulated Leo Messi and that is a very good thing for the club and for the team.”
France’s wonderboy and winner of the Golden Boot award gave a very candid response on the actions of Martinez.
“The celebrations are not my problem,” Mbappe said.
“I will not waste energy on something so trivial. The most important thing for me is to give the best of myself for my club. We await Leo’s return to score goals and to win more games,” he added.
Marking 12 goals and 14 assists for PSG in all competitions this season, Messi has yet to extend his contract, which expires this coming June.