Thierry Henry on PSG fans booing Lionel Messi: “For me, he’s not the problem.”

With Lionel Messi returning to the Parc des Princes to a mixed reception on Saturday night, debate over the fans’ hostility towards the Argentine – who looks set to leave this summer – rages on.

For France legend Thierry Henry, speaking as a pundit on Amazon Prime Video, the issue lies in the divide between the supporters and the club, rather than any one individual player in the team:

“Nobody is above the rules. I’ve you’ve missed a training session – and it can happen to anyone – fair enough, you’re punished, there’s no issue there. But the real fracture is between the supporters and the Qatari era. Sometimes Messi’s been the target, sometimes it’s Neymar, it’s been Mbappé who was booed too. For me, Messi is not the problem. I’ve played with him, and he’s never been a problem, he was always a solution. You saw he was a solution for Argentina as well. He hasn’t exactly aged in the space of two months. But what I’ve always said is: What are the rules? Nobody’s speaking up, we’re not being told about what happened.”

The World Cup winner had been suspended for two weeks over an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia, on a day when the squad were to train following a defeat to Lorient the previous weekend. This was then shortened following an apology video posted by Messi on Instagram.

Reports nevertheless indicate that the former Barcelona man could be set for a swift return to the Gulf state, with his contract in the French capital expiring at the end of next month and an offer on the table to join Al Hilal. This season, he has registered 15 goals and 15 assists in Ligue 1.

GFFN | Raphaël Jucobin

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