Lionel Messi was not involved in PSG’s recent victory over Vannes in the French Cup and had flown back to Argentina to celebrate the new year.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner tested positive last week in his home country and traveled back to Paris on Wednesday.
PSG claimed in an official statement that Lionel Messi had tested negative. However, it is unclear whether the Argentinian will be available for the Ligue 1 clash against Lyon.
After the match against Vannes, Pochettino claimed that he had not heard from Messi, something that has irked Jeremy Rothen:
“I'm assuming you have to respect your coach. When something like that happens to you, I was educated in this way at Clairefontaine in particular, the coach is above everyone, whether you are a star or not . The boss, the one who sets up the team, is Pochettino. Through his message where he says he does not know where Messi is, it simply means that Messi did not take his phone to explain himself to Pochettino. That explains a lot of things. The coach can do whatever he wants. It must be terrible. I find that very shocking from Messi.”
Lionel Messi gets criticized after testing positive for COVID-19
Needless to say, Lionel Messi’s move to PSG has not panned out exactly the way he must have hoped for. La Pulga has until now only scored once in Ligue 1 this season after 11 overall appearances. He has fared much better in the Champions League, where Lionel Messi has five goals in five appearances this season.
PSG are largely expected to cruise to the Ligue 1 title and their Champions League performances will determine how the season is judged by the club’s owners.
Messi’s overall goal involvement was bound to be affected at some point of time. The 34-year old will be more concerned with his fitness and will be focussed on making a return to the first team quickly.
PSG are currently missing Neymar, who is not expected to be available until at least their first leg against Real Madrid. Lionel Messi’s COVID-19 troubles are set to further affect the team as even Kylian Mbappe is largely expected to be in the middle of his final PSG season.
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In such a scenario, the PSG team might undergo a huge transformation in the summer. They currently have the most-stacked offense in European football and will be hoping to make use of it this season by winning their first-ever UCL title.