Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino received a lot of heat for taking out Lionel Messi at the 75th-minute mark against Olympique Lyonnais. The decision came as a surprise to Messi, seeing his reaction as he went off the pitch.
Nonetheless, Pochettino didn’t see the situation as a big deal as supporters and media members made it out to be. The Argentine tactician spoke at his press conference where he stated that players of Messi’s ilk rarely want to leave the pitch, especially if the match has yet to be decided.
“No. Of course, I understand the situation, and I accept it as such. I was not more surprised than that. I am in a position where the priority is always to put the good of the player first,” Pochettino said.
“In this specific case, as I said, with all the inside information at our disposal, we figured it was best for him to come out after 75 minutes of play. Obviously, all great champions always want to stay on the field; that is understood perfectly. That’s why I’m quiet. It doesn’t surprise me; it’s normal to see this kind of situation.”