Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino has revealed what Lionel Messi told him after the legendary forward was surprisingly substituted during the club’s win over Lyon. PSG were chasing a late goal when Pochettino chose to withdraw Messi, who incredibly appeared to snub a handshake from his coach.
The iconic former Barcelona player was starting a Ligue 1 match for the first time, having previously only appeared from the substitutes’ bench.
He started in a devastating front three alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
However, it was Lyon who took the lead. Lucas Paqueta scored nine minutes into the second half.
Neymar then equalised from the penalty spot before Messi was surprisingly withdrawn. Video footage captured the frustrated Argentine appearing to decline a handshake from Pochettino as he departed the field.
Messi exchanged words with Pochettino before taking his place on the bench. The 34-year-old watched on as Mauro Icardi scored the winning goal in added time.
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His contract with the La Liga side, with whom he had spent 21 years, expired at the end of June. He would therefore technically have been a new signing and Barca have struggled to register their fresh arrivals.
Barca have accrued huge debts and a La Liga rule prevents its clubs from spending over a certain percentage of their turnover on wages.
Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets accepted wage cuts to allow the likes of Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Luuk De Jong to play in the Spanish top-flight.
Messi joined PSG on a free transfer but is yet to score for his new club.