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PSG won't let Messi parade World Cup trophy on pitch amid fears of backlash from French fans

12:14 SAST 2023/01/11
Lionel Messi Argentina 2022 World Cup trophy
Paris Saint-Germain have decided not to let World Cup winner Lionel Messi parade the trophy at the Parc des Princes due to a possible fan backlash.
  • World Cup trophy parade won't go ahead
  • Fears of backlash from French fans
  • Messi is in line to feature against Angers

WHAT'S HAPPENING? PSG hosts Angers in Ligue 1 on Wednesday in what will be Messi's first game back since beating France in the Qatar 2022 final with Argentina on December 18. However, French outlet Le Parisien have reported that the club will not allow the Argentine captain to parade the World Cup trophy on their home turf - often the custom for returning winners - amid fears of potential whistles and boos from his own supporters.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi might be open to abuse from the French fans due to the taunts of Albiceleste 'keeper Emiliano Martinez to Kylian Mbappe before and after the final. Messi was standing next to Martinez when he held a baby doll with Mbappe's face stuck to it during Argentina's homecoming parade in Buenos Aires. Furthermore, Le Parisien write that the club feel the guard of honour given to Messi upon his return to training was a sufficient welcome for the World Cup winner, citing also the three-and-a-half week gap as another contributing factor to the on-field presentation not going ahead.

AND WHAT'S MORE: Despite Messi not getting the chance to show off the famous trophy at the Parc des Princes, the Argentine is available for selection to manager Christophe Galtier against Angers, unlike fellow World Cup finalist Kylian Mbappe. Messi could yet extend his stay in the French capital beyond the end of the season, as talks over a new deal have reportedly got underway.

STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI? With the trophy parade shelved, it remains to be seen whether Messi will start the match against Angers or make an impact off the bench.