Lionel Messi (35) has travelled to Saudi Arabia due to contractual obligations, just hours after Paris Saint-Germain’s 3-1 defeat at home to FC Lorient.
Messi played the full 90 minutes for PSG in Sunday afternoon’s defeat at the hands of Les Merlus at the Parc des Princes – the first time Les Parisiens have lost a home game while conceding at least three goals since before the QSI era.
However, just hours after the defeat, Messi was on a plane to visit Saudi Arabia, for whom he is a tourism ambassador. The Argentine World Champion was spotted at Riyadh Airport upon his arrival. Messi, who has already visited the Gulf state, will reportedly spend “a few days” in the Middle East, according to Le Parisien.
Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Minister welcomed Messi to the country on social media, saying: “I am happy to welcome Saudi Tourism Ambassador Lionel Messi and his family to his second vacation in Saudi. We are happy to share our authentic Saudi welcome with you all #WelcomeMessi.”
Messi also marked his arrival with a social media post: “Who thought Saudi has so much green? I love to explore its unexpected wonders whenever I can. #visitsaudi”
Should Messi, as Le Parisien are reporting, stay in Saudi Arabia for “a few days” he will likely have an interrupted preparation for PSG’s trip to the Stade de l’Aube to face ESTAC Troyes on Sunday.
GFFN | Luke Entwistle