Lionel Messi slammed by fans for ‘lack of respect to PSG’ for smiles in training

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Lionel Messi has been criticised after being spotted smiling during Argentina training this week despite missing PSG's last two fixtures due to knee and hamstring pains.

The 34-year-old, who won his first major international honour at the 2021 Copa America, has failed to score or register an assist across five Ligue 1 appearances since leaving Barcelona.

Although he has managed three goals in the Champions League, he missed their win over Bordeaux and European clash against RB Leipzig earlier this month due to injury.

Despite that, he has joined up with Lionel Scaloni's squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Brazil on Friday and Tuesday respectively.

Having been spotted upbeat in training, many have been left confused about his return to fitness.

One Twitter user wrote: "PSG is literally a vacation for Messi."

With a second saying: "Messi lost interest in club football since he won Copa America. He can claim to be injured just to get enough rest to play for Argentina."

With a third adding: "He doesn’t care about that small league."

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The matter has also been discussed by PSG sporting director Leonardo, who has said that he is keen to speak to the authorities.

He told Le Parisien: "We don't agree with letting a player, who isn't fit to play for us and is in recovery, join up with his national side.

"It doesn't make sense and this kind of situation needs to be discussed with FIFA."

While Scaloni is unlikely to risk the fitness of his star player with his side sitting comfortably in South American World Cup qualifying, he spoke of Messi's importance in September.

He said: "Winning magnifies everything. And Messi always makes the difference.

"And of course, for people, if he was an idol before, imagine now that he has won [the Copa América with Argentina] and they are all excited."

  • Lionel Messi
  • PSG FC
  • Ligue 1

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