Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier said today, Thursday, that Lionel Messi will not participate with the team when they visit the French Football Cup at Châteauroux in the third division, as the Argentine striker needs more time to recover after leading his country to victory in the World Cup.
Messi, who lifted the World Cup on December 18 at Lusail Stadium in Qatar, has participated in the team’s training for the past two days, but Galtier said he needs more time to be ready to play competitively.
Christophe Galtier’s remarks #PSGtv eve #LBCPSG ⚽️
– Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_arab) January 5, 2023
“He had a great World Cup. He had commitments and he came home to celebrate and we wanted him to recover with his family. He won’t play tomorrow, I had a discussion with him and we want him to be ready for the next match (against Angers in French First Division).
And he will miss the attacking trio of Paris Saint-Germain, the leaders of the French League, who lost for the first time this season, 3-1, to Lens, who finished second in the local competition, last Sunday.
French striker Kylian Mbappe, who lost the 2022 World Cup final with his country, got a rest and traveled to New York with his friend and teammate Ashraf Hakimi, while Neymar missed training today, Thursday.
“We knew that there would be absences after the World Cup, and Neymar’s absence from training was determined after evaluating all the players after their return from the World Cup,” Galtier said.
Enjoy Leo Messi’s return to video training! ⤵️
– Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_arab) January 4, 2023
And he continued, “We decided with the medical team that Neymar, with all his ankle problems (in Qatar), needs time, and he will not participate tomorrow.”
However, Galtier insisted that he would field a “very competitive team”, as Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas would play from the start in place of Italian Gianluigi Donnarumma, while Paris Saint-Germain looked forward to moving on after losing to Lens.
“There was disappointment, frustration and anger sometimes, but we want to come back again with an important match because the cup is one of the important goals of the club. Forgetting (loss) quickly is the best thing to eliminate frustration,” said the coach, who won the French Cup twice while he was an assistant at Sochaux and Olympique Lyonnais. “.
Paris Saint-Germain will be without Italian midfielder Marco Verratti due to his suspension.