Lionel Messi indict for disrespecting PSG and Mauricio Pochettino after Covid return
The Argentine superstar Lionel Messi has been accused of “disrespecting” Paris Saint-Germain and boss Mauricio Pochettino for failing to keep them updated on his Covid status.
It has been claimed that PSG boss Pochettino only found out about Messi’s positive Covid test and subsequent quarantining through third parties.
Messi is said not to have kept either his coach or the club updated with his situation, as he isolated in his home city of Rosario in Argentina before returning to Paris earlier this week.
His behaviour has now been criticised by Jerome Rothen, who represented Les Parisiens 180 times between 2004 and 2009.
Rothen has claimed that Messi is not showing respect for the coach and is going against the values that the club should be standing for by disrupting the power structure within the club.
Rothen believes that the alleged behaviour of Messi in not keeping his boss and club up to date shows a lack of respect and highlights bigger issues at the Parc des Princes.
The former France international said on Radio Montecarlo:
“You must always respect your coach, this is what I was taught in Clairefontaine.
“The coach must be above everyone else, it does not matter if it is a star or a youth player – the boss must be the head of the time.
“Pochettino was not updated as to where Messi was, and that explains a lot of things.
“This is not a good thing and I think it is very shocking from Messi.”
Rothen added: “Pochettino is being disrespected by Lionel Messi.
“The coach must be the strong man, the one who shows the real values.
“The only one who strongly respects him, in my opinion, is Kylian Mbappe and I do not sense anything with the other players.
“If you don’t respect your coach then you cannot be successful.
“PSG has suffered a lot from this in recent years.”
Messi returned to Argentina over the festive period to spend some much-needed time with family and friends.
He then posted a New Year message, which made reference to Covid and the impact it has had on the world.
“I can only give thanks for everything that I had to live in this 2021,” he wrote. “’Even more so when many people had a really bad time because of the s***** virus that never ends.
“Hopefully 2022 brings a lot of health, which is what I wish you all for the new year. Hug everyone!”
Messi subsequently tested positive for the virus, but has now returned to Paris after recovering and is hopeful of being involved in this weekend’s Ligue 1 clash against Lyon.
The 34-year-old collected his seventh Ballon d’Or title as he scooped the 2021 accolade in late November, but his early form in the French capital has fallen far short of his sky-high expectations.
The Argentine superstar has found it difficult to adapt to French football in the opening half of the campaign following his high-profile summer transfer from Barcelona.
He has found the net just once in Ligue 1 so far in his opening 11 matches in the division amid fears that he will fall short of 20 domestic league goals for the first campaign since 2007/08.
He has however netted five Champions League goals for his new club.