French media reported that Messi was suspended for two weeks after an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia when he was supposed to train with his team after the 3-1 loss to Lorient in the league on Sunday.
Messi has received a formal offer to move to Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal next season, a source close to the Argentina captain told Reuters. Extending his contract with PSG is not in the plans of the World Cup winner, who will turn 36 next month.
Earlier this week, the board informed me of the decision to suspend Messi. When I was informed, I was obliged not to comment, Galtier said at a press conference before Sunday’s match against Troyes.
I work for the club and that is my role… This decision has nothing to do with me. I was informed of the decision.
Leo’s disqualification added to the bad performances, we can’t hide behind that… I can’t say it was a pleasant period. There is a goal to achieve, the players are working hard. We are focused and committed.
PSG leads the standings, but last weekend’s loss reduced the lead over second-place Olympique de Marseille to five points with five games to go.
PSG’s decline in form this year, especially after they were knocked out of the Champions League in the last round in early March, has caused concern among fans.
Until December, Galtier’s team was unbeaten in all competitions, but since then they have lost nine matches, and this week fans protested outside Neymar’s home, demanding that he leave.
The Brazilian is out for the rest of the season after undergoing ankle surgery in March, but Galtier declined to comment on whether the striker will be at the club next season.
PSG condemned the actions of fans, and Galtier said it was unacceptable for fans to protest outside a player’s home.
As far as protests in front of a player’s home, we have to be careful with that. Private life should remain private, he said.
I can understand the anger, the frustration of our fans. You can protest on the training ground, at the PSG office or after the match at the Parc de Prince.
But I can’t take it in anyone’s house, whether it’s Neymar or anyone else.
The departure of the Argentine great player after the end of this season could be just as significant as many signingsThe Qatari money has turned PSG into one of the richest clubs in the world.
Unless either side changes its mind, Messi will leave when his current contract expires in a few weeks.
While this opens the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s path to earning $400 million a year in Saudi Arabia, it also gives PSG a chance to abandon a strategy that hasn’t quite worked and move toward developing local talent.
Since 2011, PSG, owned by Qatar Sports Investments, has dominated French soccer and has signed some of the sport’s biggest names, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Messi. But the team has yet to win European club soccer’s biggest prize, the Champions League.
If I may say so, PSG is getting further and further away from the trophy it covets most after dropping out in the round of 16 the last two seasons in a row. Despite a squad staffed with world-class talent, the club has dropped out at this stage of the competition in five of the last seven seasons and has only made it to the final once in its history, in 2020.
Even a dream team of Messi, Mbappe and Neymar could not make the difference.
Although Messi’s departure clarifies the situation now, the change of strategy in favor of young talent seems to have begun as early as last year. A state-of-the-art training center in Poissy is nearing completion and will be the base for nurturing the best young players France produces.
At the center of this new vision, however, is perhaps the greatest talent of all: Kylian Mbappe. This calls into question Neymar’s future, as the Brazilian does not seem to fit into the club’s model.
This could also explain the parting with Messi.
Although the recent World Cup winner’s time at PSG ended on a sour note – he was fined and disqualified for an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia – his transition from Barcelona is still considered a success.
In his first season at the French club, Messi is estimated to have profited PSG about $11 million in commercial partnerships.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has also managed to bring together many of soccer’s biggest stars in one attack, albeit briefly. Now it’s time for the more talented locals to step away from the bling.
France, after all, has produced some of the best players in history, including Mbappe, and PSG wants to capitalize on that.
France won the 2018 World Cup and lost to Argentina under Messi only on penalties in last year’s final. Mbappe was the only PSG player on the French team to play in that final in Qatar.
France’s brightest young stars instead went to European clubs such as Real Madrid (Aurélien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavanga), Barcelona (Ousmane Dembele, Jules Kaunde) and Bayern (Kingsley Coman, Diote Upamekano).
Coman, who made his way to PSG, scored when Bayern knocked his former team out of the Champions League this season.
Leipzig striker Christopher Nkunku, who is expected to move to Chelsea in the offseason, was also at PSG. So was another French player, Bayer Leverkusen striker Moussa Diaby.
Mbappe, who has been a long-term target for Real Madrid, seems to share PSG’s plans because he signed a three-year contract with the club last May. In soccer terms, he is certainly brilliant, but he also fits perfectly into the new strategy of the local youth.
There have already been moves in that direction this season, with 17-year-olds Warren Zaire-Emery and El Chadail Bitshiabou making their way into the first team and playing in the defeat against Bayern.
The hiring of French coach Christophe Galtier last year was another example of a shift, although it is unclear if he will remain after this season as results in the second half of the campaign have dropped.
PSG is still five points ahead of second-place Marseille in the French championship and is on its way to a ninth title in the Qatari ownership era. But it was the club’s failures in the Champions League that were unacceptable in the face of the huge sums spent on Neymar ($219 million) and Mbappe ($190 million).
These failures at the top level have led to a general feeling that PSG is more a collection of individuals than a cohesive team. And the focus on the collective in the future points to an acknowledgement of that fact.
In comparison, Manchester City, backed by the ruling Abu Dhabi family, has assembled under Pep Guardiola arguably the best team in Europe, although the Champions League still eludes him.
That could change this season when City reach the semifinals.andfor the third year in a row.
Messi’s departure from PSG, and possibly that of Neymar, could ultimately move the French club one step closer in its mission to finally win the European Cup.
Veteran Sam Allardyce plays his first game in charge of Leeds against a City team that has won its last nine league games.
Second-placed Arsenal are still hoping that City will stumble, but Newcastle have a huge prize to play for, knowing that a win at St. James Park would put them on the brink of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in two decades.
Here’s an overview of some of the key highlights ahead of the match:
Big Sam’s Big Challenge
Sam Allardyce boasted that he is as good as City boss Pep Guardiola in an unusual press conference to mark his return to the Premier League.
The 68-year-old footballer has just four games to prove it and a £2.5 million ($3.1 million) bonus to keep Leeds in the top flight.
Javi Gracia paid for one point in five games in which Leeds conceded 18 goals and was fired Wednesday.
Allardyce’s reputation as a player capable of leading the team has convinced Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani to bet on the former England boss.
But Allardyce has a huge task ahead of him: after the trip to City, which is the treble champion, will be followed by duels against Newcastle, West Ham and Tottenham.
It’s probably the biggest challenge (in my career) because of the small number of games left, Allardyce said.
One more win would put Guardiola’s side four points ahead, at least until Sunday, but he is wary of the impact Allardyce could have.
It will be difficult because he has charisma, Guardiola said. He will put pressure on the players and he knows exactly what to do in such a situation in a relegation fight.
Arsenal craves revenge against Newcastle
To have any chance of winning their first league title in 19 years, Arsenal must win where their attempt to finish in the top four fell apart last season.
A year ago, Mikel Arteta’s side had a chance to return to the Champions League with two games to go, but were defeated 2-0 by Wolves.
We do not forget the game we played tI was a big part of that last season, said Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka.
To be honest, they destroyed us. They were much, much better, they wanted it more. We have to go there and show them that we are ready and why we are where we are.
Newcastle have won eight World Cup games.of their last nine games in the league to come close to finishing in the top four.
Given the good goal difference, Eddie Howe’s side will likely need just six points in their remaining five games to join Arsenal and City in next season’s Champions League.
King Charles III’s coronation on Saturday affected the Premier League schedule.
With Monday declared a day off in Great Britain, there will be three games of great importance at the bottom of the standings.
A loss to Nottingham Forest, who also begin the weekend in the top three, would virtually knock Southampton out of the tournament.
Everton’s 69-year stay in the top division is in serious jeopardy ahead of a trip to Brighton, which is aiming to reach Europe for the first time in the club’s history.
Leicester are out of the relegation zone only thanks to goal difference and should make the most of their visit to Fulham, with Newcastle and Liverpool still ahead.
Bournemouth – Chelsea, Manchester City – Leeds, Tottenham – Crystal Palace, Wolves – Aston Villa, Liverpool – Brentford
Newcastle – Arsenal, West Ham – Manchester United
Fulham – Leicester (1400), Brighton – Everton (1630), Nottingham Forest v Southampton
Eric ten Hague’s men are now fourth on 63 points behind fifth-placed Liverpool on four points but with a game to spare against Merseyside, while Brighton move up to sixth place with 55 points.
The victory was a kind of revenge for Brighton, which 11 days ago lost to Manchester United on penalties in the FA Cup semifinals.
The home side dominated possession and could have taken the lead as early as the fourth minute when Japanese winger Kaoru Mitoma picked up a free pass from Victor Lindelof, but shot straight into David De Gea’s face.
Mitoma was a threat throughout the match, creating several chances for himself before tipping in Danny Welbeck and firing from the edge of the penalty area early in the second half as United struggled toThe house was able to get the ball out of the defense.
After a first-half suspension, United midfielder Casemiro was lucky not to receive a second yellow card as he knocked down McAllister on the edge of the field in the second half.
Emotions flared up in the 68th minute when United winger Anthony, angry that he was not awarded a free kick, was penalized for rolling up against McAllister and then got into an altercation with Lewis Dunk that resulted in both players receiving a yellow card each.
Brighton continued to press for victory, and substitute Solly March and McAllister forced De Gea into magnificent saves as time approached the 90th minute.
United looked like a draw would be assured, but there was drama in the end when Luke Shaw was found handling the ball in the box after a VAR check and McAllister scored with nine minutes to go, securing the win.
Very happy and delighted with the game and the result, Brighton coach Roberto de Zerby told Sky Sports. There is a God of soccer – we deserved to win the FA Cup semi-final, but we lost on penalties and today we won on penalties.
United defender Shaw took responsibility for his mistake, calling it a stupid mistake that cost us a point, but said his team is still on track to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Teams around us are picking up points, (but) we still have a game in hand and it’s in our hands, he told Sky Sports.
As the Premier League season draws to a close, things are heating up. Superstar Ranveer Singh has been in the UK for the past five days, immersing himself in the atmosphere of Premier League games, talking to fans and visiting clubs’ training grounds to learn about the state-of-the-art equipment used by Premier League clubs.
During his visit, Ranveer Singh visited Premier League matches between Fulham and Manchester City and Leicester City against Everton before heading to the Emirates Stadium to watch the Arsenal vs Chelsea match.
Before watching the match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium, Ranveer met and chatted with Leicester City’s Indian fans, discussing with them their favorite memories of the Premier League, including winning the title in the 2015/16 season. After meeting and greeting the fans, Singh paid his respects to former club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha at his shrine on sKing Power Stadium.
Singh’s experience with Premier League matches culminated in the match between Arsenal and Chelsea, which began late on the evening of May 2, 2023. An avid Gunners fan, Singh was present at the Emirates Stadium and watched as his beloved Arsenal defeated Chelsea 3-1 thanks to the superb play of Mikel Arteta’s team.
Speaking of his impressions on match day during that trip, Singh expressed his appreciation, saying: It was magical to feel the atmosphere in the stadiums during matches, as it always is. It’s great to see the best players in the world in action, fighting for their teams and the packed stadiums supporting them.
In addition, Singh noted: I had a great time watching Arsenal’s convincing win over Chelsea at Emirates. Mikel Arteta is doing something wonderful with the team, and it was impressive to see this young and talented squad in action
During his trip, Singh had the honor of interacting with several Premier League legends. He met Per Mertesacker and Gilberto Silva at the match. Singh even took part in the Sky Sports Match Day show at Arsenal Stadium, during which he was able to chat with Cesc Fabregas, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Patrick Viera. He also had the pleasure of watching the match between Arsenal and Chelsea in the general manager’s box at Emirates, along with Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah and Arsenal chairman and general manager Vinay Venkatesh.
In addition to visiting various Premier League clubs and meeting legends, Singh also had the honor of meeting current Aston Villa manager Unai Emery, Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho and Fulham striker Willian. Ranveer also had the opportunity to meet Premier League and West Ham legend Carlton Cole during a visit to West Ham’s training base on May 3, 2023.
After visiting West Ham’s training base, superstar Ranveer Singh attended a Premier League Hall of Fame event where he was able to share some memorable conversations with Premier League legends, Arsene Wenger, Rio Ferdinand, Petr Cech and Peter Schmeichel.
Singh also talked about how his role as Premier League ambassador to India has given him unique opportunities as a soccer fan. He expressed gratitude and concluded: It was a wonderful experience to meet the greatest players in soccer history. Being in the presence of thesethe legends that have had such an impact on the sport are truly awe-inspiring. I feel fortunate to have the chance to learn from them and observe their passion for the game up close. My association with the Premier League has provided me with this exceptional experience, and I am honored to be part of such an outstanding community.