Lionel Messi (35) arrived in Saudi Arabia yesterday for a contractually obliged visit to the Gulf State, however, L’Équipe have now revealed that the trip was not approved by Christophe Galtier, nor Luís Campos.
Whilst his teammates trained at the Camp des Loges ahead of a day off on Tuesday, Messi was fulfilling his role as a tourism ambassador to the Middle East nation-state. Messi seemingly thought that he would be able to fulfil these obligations with two days off often given after a Sunday game. However, with the humiliating defeat at home to FC Lorient (1-3), Monday’s day off was cancelled, with players arriving as normal for a training session.
Following the confirmation of this week’s schedule, Messi did not receive the authorisation of Campos, nor Galtier before making the trip, which he had already been forced to postpone due to poor results, notably after the losses to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. With the arrival of scorching temperatures in Saudi Arabia, it wasn’t possible to postpone the visit once more.
Messi’s absence from training on Monday was a lengthy topic of discussion in the dressing room, with some players “shocked” that he made the trip.
GFFN | Luke Entwistle