Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi returned to training on Wednesday, a little over two weeks on from Argentina’s World Cup triumph.
Lionel Messi was welcomed back to Paris Saint-Germain training with a guard of honour after inspiring Argentina to World Cup glory last month.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner received an extended break from the club after scoring seven times and assisting three more in Qatar.
Messi, who announced before the tournament that it would be his last appearance at the World Cup, won a second Ballon d’Or for his starring role in Argentina’s third global triumph.
He played no part in PSG’s two games since Qatar 2022, missing the win over Strasbourg and the Ligue 1 defeat of Lens, but was back in Paris on Wednesday.
PSG’s players and coaching staff formed a tunnel for Messi as he walked out of their training base before sporting director Luis Campos presented him with a small trophy.
Neymar was among those to greet Messi on his arrival, but Kylian Mbappe – a beaten finalist at Messi’s expense – was absent after being given a breather by Christophe Galtier.
Messi may now be in contention for Friday’s Coupe de France 64 tie with third-tier side Chateauroux.
Before leaving for the World Cup, the 35-year-old scored 12 goals and assisted another 14 in 19 games this season.
A guard of honour for our World Champion! ?❤️?#BravoLeo pic.twitter.com/OHIkKALbUl
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) January 4, 2023