PSG's 'pride' was damaged by Lionel Messi's trip to Saudi Arabia, suggests Thierry Henry

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Lionel Messi Paris Saint-Germain 2022-23
Lionel Messi's controversial trip to Saudi Arabia may have damaged Paris Saint-Germains pride, leading to his suspension, Thierry Henry suggested.
  • Messi made surprise visit to Saudi Arabia
  • Suspended for two matches by PSG
  • Henry says club's pride was damaged

WHAT HAPPENED? Messi caused a stir in the French capital when he made an unsanctioned and sponsored trip to Saudi Arabia. PSG retaliated by suspending him for two matches and, while Henry insists the Argentine was wrong to miss training, he wondered if the club's Qatari owners were particularly annoyed because of the country he chose to visit.

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WHAT THEY SAID: "They hit a shot, maybe because he's not going to stay," Messi's former Barcelona team-mate said on Amazon Prime show Dimanche Soir Football. "Or did the destination he went to affect their pride a little? But there were much more serious things that happened at PSG. Was Messi right? No, you don't miss a practice."

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Henry also made an unusual reference to famous 1980s American television show Dallas, adding: "No one can miss training. It reminds me a bit of the episodes of Dallas, when J.R. [Ewing] tries to get [long-time nemesis] Cliff Barnes. But it's always the same problems at PSG. This time, it's Messi."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi issued an apology to the club and his team-mates after the controversy, saying he thought he had a day off and that he could not cancel the journey. However, it has been suggested he has already played his final game for PSG as there will be just three matches left when his suspension ends and tensions are already high between him and the French giants.

Messi's contract expires at the end of the season and he has been linked with a mega move to Saudi Arabia club Al-Hilal, though a return to Barcelona and a deal with Inter Miami have also been touted as possibilities.


Lionel Messi Paris Saint-Germain 2022-23

Thierry Henry 2023


WHAT NEXT? Messi was dropped from the squad for Sunday's game against Troyes and will be absent for the following match against Ajaccio. He could be back in action against Auxerre on May 21 as the Paris team chase down the Ligue 1 title.