Paris Saint-Germain chiefs are reportedly concerned that Lionel Messi ‘s request to display the World Cup trophy may spark ugly scenes from the club’s fans.
Messi captained Argentina to winning the tournament on Sunday, scoring twice as they beat France on penalties. It was the first time La Albiceleste have won the World Cup since 1986, an achievement which sparked wild celebrations back in South America.
But tensions have been growing amid Emiliano Martinez’s feud with Kylian Mbappe and with some fans burning a cardboard grave with Mbappe’s name on. Those tensions could be further inflamed when Messi returns to PSG following the celebrations of Argentina’s win.
According to GOAL, Messi has requested he be allowed to present the World Cup trophy at the Parc des Princes. It has become tradition for players to present personal accolades ahead of their first game back after winning them.
Unfortunately for Messi though, the fact he plays for the French capital’s premier club is creating a roadblock for that to happen this time. It is said that the PSG hierarchy are ‘hesitating’ about accepting the 35-year-old’s request.
They fear that the PSG home crowd may find it ‘very hard’ to digest Messi presenting the trophy, having beaten their national team in the final. The ‘provocations’ from some Argentina players towards France and Mbappe could cause of ‘overflow’ of emotion.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi did congratulate Messi for winning the World Cup, though he straddled a fine line, with Mbappe now a key player for the team he runs.
“Will we keep Messi and Mbappe? Of course. They are the two best players in the World Cup. I don’t want to say anything more about Leo, we have an agreement to talk after the World Cup,” he said.
“Most importantly, as a club, PSG have broken all records. We are proud of them and also of Achraf [Hakimi], who finished fourth with Morocco. In my opinion, it was the best final in the history of the World Cups.
“I am sad for France, as the president of a French club. Sad for Kylian, who played a more than perfect game. If it had been me, I would have given two trophies, one for Kylian and one for Leo.
“It was difficult for me because I was going with France. But I’m also happy for Messi, it is the icing on the cake for him, he deserves it, and Kylian still has years to go to win the World Cup again.”
Mbappe has already returned to Paris and is understood to have made himself available for their first Ligue 1 game back next week. Messi meanwhile has been given a longer break as he continues to celebrate Argentina’s achievement, with no confirmation yet of his own return date to France.
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