Pochettino addresses rumours suggesting rift with Messi after Lyon substitution

While several had predicted a rift in their relationship, Pochettino confirmed that Messi had actually picked up a knee injury.

Lionel Messi during a match for PSG. (Image: Twitter)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Sep 21, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

It was a dramatic last-minute win for Paris Saint Germain (PSG) on Monday against Lyon, but life has not been good for Argentine star Lionel Messi at his new club so far. He is yet to bag a single goal for the French outfit and was taken off a little after the hour mark against Lyon. Messi did not look best pleased by Mauricio Pochettino’s decision as he wore a disappointed expression for the rest of the game. He did not even celebrate as much as one might have hoped after a last-minute winner. Things are certainly not looking good for one of the greatest of all time and his current manager, Mauricio Pochettino, as asked about his relationship with Messi on Tuesday.


While several had predicted that Pochettino substituted Messi due to a rift in their relationship, the Argentine manager confirmed that the 34-year-old had actually picked up a knee injury. As per the information provided by PSG, Messi had suffered a bruise in the bone of his left knee during the match. “Lionel Messi, who took a knock to his left knee against Lyon, underwent an MRI on Tuesday morning which confirmed signs of bruising of the bone. A follow-up examination will be carried out in 48 hours,” the club statement read. Messi now faces a battle to be fit for the UEFA Champions League clash with Manchester City next week.

The 34-year-old was replaced in the second half of Sunday’s 2-1 Ligue 1 win over Lyon, but he appeared dissatisfied with the decision. Pochettino insisted there was no problem after PSG confirmed Messi had undergone a scan on his left knee and is awaiting a full assessment of the damage.


“I was pleased with his performance. He did very well in the first half. I am pleased with his commitment and performance. All that was missing was a goal,” Pochettino said. “In his 75 minutes on the pitch – as I have explained – with all the information that we had, we made the decision to substitute him,” he added.

Messi’s bemused reaction sparked something of a controversy, but Pochettino added: “Of course all top players want to be on the pitch at all times, that is understandable. I am calm about it,” he concluded.

Messi, who hit the crossbar with a free-kick in the first half against Lyon, was visibly frustrated after being replaced by Achraf Hakimi in the 76th minute of the weekend’s comeback 2-1 win. Messi, 34, has not scored in his first three appearances since joining on a free transfer from Barcelona in August. Mauricio Pochettino’s side will face Montpellier in the league on Saturday before hosting Manchester City in the Champions League in the midweek.

It has been confirmed that Messi will miss PSG’s next match which is against Metz on Saturday, before facing the English champions Manchester City on Wednesday. The Parisian outfit will hope to have their best player fit for what will be a tough game against one of the best clubs in the world at the moment.

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