Lionel Messi was given a guard of honour on his return to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday – however his PSG teammate and World Cup rival Kylian Mbappe was nowhere to be seen.
Messi acquired a hero’s welcome at PSG’s coaching base in Poissy two and a half weeks after captaining Argentina to the World Cup in Qatar. The 24-year-old Mbappe, who’s extensively thought of Messi’s successor as the subsequent dominant particular person within the sport, scored a hat-trick for France within the closing and transformed within the penalty shootout too, however it was not sufficient to disclaim the 35-year-old Messi World Cup glory on the fifth and closing try.
After time spent celebrating in Argentina, Messi was greeted with hugs by teammates akin to Italian midfielder Marco Verratti and Brazilians Marquinhos and Neymar on his return to Paris. But Mbappe was not there to see him after being granted depart by supervisor Christophe Galtier, together with good friend and fellow PSG teammate Achraf Hakimi who reached the World Cup third-place playoff with Morocco.
“Hakimi and Mbappe can have just a few days off,” Galtier confirmed following PSG’s defeat to title rivals Lens on the weekend. “The plan was that they might play these two video games [after the World Cup]. They will now get well.”
Mbappe and Hakimi were at an NBA basketball game in New York on Monday where they met Brooklyn Nets stars like Kevin Durant in the dressing room after the event.
The duo are set to return to Paris forward of the Ligue 1 match towards Rennes on 15 January. Messi, who was handed a small trophy by the membership’s sporting director Luis Campos forward of his first coaching session as a World Cup winner, will now be built-in again into the crew and may very well be in competition for their Ligue 1 fixture towards Angers on 11 January.
Defeat to Lens dented PSG’s league lead however they continue to be 4 factors clear on the summit.
While Kylian Mbappe wasn’t in attendance, his youthful brother Ethan was noticed among the many PSG gamers applauding Messi. Ethan Mbappe joined PSG aged 11 similtaneously his previous brother moved from Monaco to Paris on an preliminary mortgage which might later be made everlasting. He made his senior debut in a pleasant towards Paris FC final month, two days earlier than the World Cup closing.