Lionel Messi has released a video on his Instagram account to apologise to Paris Saint-Germain and his teammates for missing training to travel to Saudi Arabia.
Sources told ESPN on Tuesday that Messi was given a two-week suspension without pay after missing Monday’s training session to fly to Saudi. Sources said that PSG boss Christophe Galtier told his team they would be given Monday and Tuesday off if they beat Lorient on Sunday, but defeat would result in the team being called in for training on Monday. PSG lost the match 3-1.
Messi said in a video posted to his Instagram story on Friday that he thought he could go on the trip as he had been afforded that time off in “previous weeks.”
“I wanted to make this video because of what is happening,” the World Cup-winning captain said. “First of all, obviously I apologise to my teammates and the club. I honestly thought that we were going to have free time after the game as it had been happening in the previous weeks.
“I had organised this trip to [Saudi] Arabia that I had previously canceled and I couldn’t [this time around]. I repeat, I apologise for what I did and I’m waiting for what the club decides.”
PSG boss Galtier said in a news conference on Friday that he had “nothing to do” with the suspension of Messi and that the board informed him of the decision at the start of the week.
Sources told ESPN on Wednesday that Messi will leave PSG upon the expiry of his contract this summer despite there being an agreement made in principal before the World Cup in Qatar to extend his stay at the club. Sources added that Messi’s trip to Saudi Arabia has caused tension in the dressing room with some players unhappy about the incident.
On Wednesday, hundreds of PSG supporters gathered outside the club’s Paris headquarters to express their anger at Messi, as well as teammate Neymar and president Nasser al-Khelaifi.
PSG remain at the top of the Ligue 1 table, five points clear of second-placed Marseille despite losing three of their last six matches.