Lionel Messi joining the Argentine team despite not fully qualified “doesn’t make sense”, according to Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo. The 34-year-old has endured a difficult start to his career at PSG since arriving on a free transfer three months ago after leaving Barcelona.
After drawing with RB Leipzig last week and defeating Bordeaux with a knee and hamstring injury, Messi has played just eight of PSG’s 18 games this season. Despite suffering a hamstring injury in recent months, Messi has been included in Argentina’s squad to play Uruguay and Brazil in a World Cup qualifier in the next eight days.
PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino said on Friday he was happy with his teammates playing for La Albiceleste as it would give him a chance to make his mark.
However, Leonardo is unhappy with Argentina’s decision to sign the player and has called on FIFA to join.
“We do not agree to release a player who will be selected for the national team, who is out of shape or in the rehabilitation phase,” Le Parisien was quoted as saying.
“It doesn’t make sense, and this kind of situation deserves a FIFA decision.”
Messi played only 325 minutes of Ligue 1 matches for PSG, compared to Argentina’s 450 minutes in all qualifying matches in September and October, with the exception of the suspended match against Brazil.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored three goals in his first eight appearances for the French Bulls but has yet to score or assist in league matches. Indeed, Messi has scored more goals for Argentina in 2021-22 than for PSG, with four goals in five games.