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Even when they are “off”, PSG players manage to get people talking about them. After Kylian Mbappé (23)’s trip to Madrid on Monday, it was Lionel Messi’s trip to Saudi Arabia that panicked the football world. The Argentinian PSG striker spent the two days off there, accompanied by Leandro Paredes, as part of a promotional campaign for the local tourist office. A trip that caused talk, since the Saudi kingdom is regularly criticized for its non-respect of human rights.
For PSG and its Qatari owner, this visit can also be tense, as relations between the two countries, even if they have warmed up somewhat in recent months, have been strained for several years. “So Messi, headliner of Qatar at PSG, becomes an ambassador for the Saudi Arabian tourist office… an enemy of Qatar. Ok, quipped journalist Loic Briley on RMC Sport. Certainly, relations between the two states have warmed up. Despite everything, they remain rivals on soft power. Messi’s situation therefore remains rather incongruous. »
According to L’Équipe, PSG were aware of Messi’s partnership with Saudi Arabia, which existed even before he signed for Paris last summer, it is reported internally. This trip was therefore planned, it remained to finalize the dates. It took place at the beginning of this week because with the title of champion of France already acquired, the end of the season for the Parisian star is quieter. We saw it well against ESTAC…
— Loic Briley (@loicbriley) May 10, 2022
After Kylian Mbappé’s brief trip to Madrid on Monday, which panicked the football planet, it’s another trip by a Parisian who has been the subject of a lot of comments since yesterday… That of Lionel Messi in Saudi Arabia.