Lionel Messi celebrates after winning the 2023 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award in Paris on Monday. Reuters
Lionel Messi returned to training with Paris Saint-Germain on Monday six days after Argentina's World Cup-winning captain was suspended for going on an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia.
"Leo Messi returns to training on Monday morning," tweeted the club along with a photo of the 35-year-old in action. His return makes it likely he will feature in PSG's home match with relegation-threatened Ajaccio next Saturday.
PSG hold the whip hand in defending their Ligue 1 title, a six point lead over Lens with four matches remaining.
He was suspended by the Qatar-owned club after failing to turn up for training last Monday.
Instead, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner travelled to Saudi Arabia without PSG's permission to fulfil commitments as part of a contract with the country's tourist office.
Messi subsequently apologised in a video posted on Instagram to his 458 million followers.
"I had organised this trip to Saudi Arabia having cancelled it previously. This time I couldn't cancel it. I am sorry for what I did and I wait to see what the club decides to do."
The affair has made it increasingly unlikely that Messi will remain at PSG beyond this season, when his two-year contract with the club expires.
Messi joined PSG after winning every major title with Barcelona. The Catalan club that Messi called home from the age of 13 couldn’t afford to keep him because of large debts and the Spanish league's financial regulations, AP reported.
Kylian Mbappe continued his prolific goal streak with a debut goal at Parc des Princes.
Messi, 34, held off the challenge of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and Chelsea’s Jorginho to collect the prize and move two clear in his long-running battle with five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who was among the 30 players shortlisted but did not feature in the top three for the first time in 11 years.
The newspaper added that Messi's family is happy in Paris and is used to life there, so this aspect is very important in renewing the legend's contract.
Returning to action for the first time since losing the Australian Open final, defending champion Daniil Medvedev made a winning start following a 6-3, 7-5 win over Alexander Shevchenko at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday. The top seed established
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Impressed by the centre's services, Infantino highlighted its success in becoming the preferred destination for renowned football stars for injury treatment, rehabilitation, and pre-contract medical examinations.
In a remarkable display of skill and determination, Faisal completed the fastest dive using an underwater wheelchair, clocking an astonishing time of 37 minutes and securing yet another spot in the sporting records.