This week Paris Saint-Germain has lived up to the “Hollywood FC” name that some have given the capital club.
PSG dropped a bombshell on Tuesday after the Ligue 1 side suspended Lionel Messi for an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia. The next few days would set off a chain of events many would believe came from a television series.
Depending on who you want to believe, the French giants were scheduled to have Monday off if they defeated FC Lorient, which the squad didn’t do, losing 3-1 at the Parc des Princes last Sunday.
Once various outlets confirmed that Messi was handed a two-week suspension, it was followed by a protest from the Collectif Ultra Paris. The PSG ultras were outside the club’s headquarters demanding change.
— EuroFoot (@eurofootcom) May 3, 2023
Messi, Neymar Jr. and Marco Verratti were the prominent names the ultras targeted in their chants. The Argentine was referred to as a mercenary; meanwhile, the Brazilian received the worst of the protest as a group showed up to his how to inform him that he’s no longer welcome.
La honte sérieux… 🤦🏻♂️pic.twitter.com/SFtd852sNo
— PSG COMMUNITY (@psgcommunity_) May 3, 2023
The suspension and protest led to plenty of fighting between some PSG fans since there’s a belief that the ultras went too far going to a player’s home to protest.
Nonetheless, after Wednesday’s protest, it seemed the Ligue 1 side was in the clear and could focus on their match against Troyes on Sunday at Stade de l’Aube. However, that wasn’t the case.
A dressed-up Messi dropped a video apologizing to the club and teammates for his behavior, opening up another can of worms to the saga.
Leo Messi statement 🚨🇦🇷 #Messi
“I thought we were going to have a day off after the game as always. I had this trip organized and I couldn't cancel it. I had already canceled it before…”.
“I apologize to my teammates and I'm waiting for what the club wants to do with me”. pic.twitter.com/GBuarEgwSl
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 5, 2023
“I thought we were going to have a day off after the match, as always,” Messi said in the video. “I had organized this trip and I could not cancel it. I had already canceled it before. I apologize to my teammates and I expect what the club wants to do with me.”
PSG appears ready to focus on football, but there’s still one more day until match day. After that, it seems the Ligue 1 side has hit rock bottom and there’s nowhere to go but up.
However, should they lose the league title to Olympique de Marseille, who are five points back with five matches left in the 2022-23 season, then there might be another lever to sink PSG.
As for the future, Messi and the Parisian club are likely heading toward a divorce this summer once his contract expires. The suspension, protest and apology have opened the eyes to what the French giants need to do during this upcoming transfer window and overhauling the squad.
While this week’s drama might be a black mark for PSG, it could be a blessing in disguise for the club to finally begin constructing a squad that functions as a unit rather than going for the star players.