January 30, 2023

Lionel Messi isn’t expected to be back with PSG until early January after World Cup success

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Lionel Messi According to the club’s coach Christophe Gaultier, he is not expected to be back with Paris Saint-Germain until “January 2 or 3” as the 35-year-old continues to spend time back in Argentina after the win. The World Cup After a penalty shootout victory over France in the final.

however, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar Jr And Achraf Hakimi – who played for France, Brazil and Morocco at Qatar 2022 – could return to the PSG squad for Wednesday’s Ligue 1 match against Strasbourg, as long as he is “performing well physically and mentally”. ” said Gaultier.

PSG have a five-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 as the French domestic season returns to action after a six-week mid-season break for the World Cup.

PSG forwards Neymar Jr and Kylian Mbappé (R) take part in the club's training session

Ligue 1 clubs will play two matches this week and Gaultier says the return to football will help players who suffered disappointment in Qatar.

“I sent messages of support to those who were disappointed and messages of congratulations to those who went far in the tournament,” the PSG coach told reporters.

“They are elite-level footballers, and I think the best treatment for them is to get back to work as soon as possible, where they are surrounded by their colleagues, and get a taste of competitive football again.

“I’ve seen everyone mentally ready for us to work together again. I saw Kyleen congratulating Leo and the opposition manager during the trophy ceremony, which is a sign of respect between our players. Is.

“What I remember is Kylan’s good attitude, as he showed savior and class despite the disappointment. It’s great for the team and the club.”

Kylian Mbappé wants to put his World Cup disappointment behind him.

PSG and Lens face off in a huge top-of-the-table clash on Sunday, but Gaultier believes previous form counts for little as a six-week break means restarts are tough for teams ” “Like the start of a new season.”

The second half of the season is action-packed for PSG as both the French Cup and the Champions League return.

In the coming days, Gaultier is confident of selecting a full squad – minus Messi – including Neymar, who suffered a sprained ankle in the World Cup group stage but was able to return for Brazil’s two knockout matches. .

“With the players that have returned, we’ve operated on a case-by-case basis, physically and mentally,” Gaultier said.

“Unfortunately, some players were knocked out earlier than others, but Achraf and Kaylan were keen to rejoin us very soon.

“As long as he is doing well physically and mentally, there is no reason for us to go without him for the next two league games, which will be very important.

“However, it is up to us to think about what would be the right time for them to rest and taper off in the next few weeks. All the returning players will be available for tomorrow’s match.

“The Spaniards, Portuguese and Brazilians had about ten days off, but everyone is back on schedule and training as usual.”

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