Paris (AP) – Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier expects Lionel Messi to be ready to play next Wednesday, in a French League match, hosted by Angers.
The star got an extra rest after leading Argentina to crown the World Cup in Qatar, as he contributed two goals in the final on December 18th. Messi returned to training with Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday this week, and his teammates formed a hall of honor to celebrate the South American star’s victory.
“He was delighted and perhaps a little touched to receive such a warm welcome,” Galtier said. “We are lucky to have a player like him.”
Galtier said Messi, who has won a record seven Ballon d’Ors, is in no condition to start Friday in a French Cup match against third-division club Châteauroux.
Châteauroux is 14th in the third category, but at least he won’t have to face Messi, Kylian Mbappe or Neymar.
The latter was absent from training on Thursday. Galtier said the move was a precautionary measure. Neymar, who injured ligaments in his right ankle at the World Cup with Brazil, will rest against Châteauroux.
Mbappe and Moroccan right-back Achraf Hakimi are on vacation in the United States this week, after playing two consecutive matches in the French League, shortly after their return from the World Cup.
Fans cheered Mbappe on Monday night as he went to watch the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets game. The star scored three goals for France in the World Cup final.
“Reader. Beer practitioner. Web expert. Subtly charming travel geek. Friendly music specialist.”