Lionel Messi received a warm welcome back to Paris Saint-Germain training on Wednesday, having returned to France after captaining Argentina to victory at the World Cup in Qatar.
A smiling Messi was given a guard of honour on the PSG training pitch and was presented with a memento of his World Cup triumph by Luis Campos, the club’s football advisor.
Speaking to PSG TV, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner said he was “very happy” with the reception and declared that he is now focused on getting ready for the “upcoming challenges”.
PSG minded against Messi tribute next week
The 35-year-old is expected to make his comeback to PSG action on Wednesday 11 January, when the Parisians host Angers on matchday 19 of the Ligue 1 season.
What is less clear is whether there will be a pre-match tribute to the star at the Parc des Princes. According to Le Parisien, PSG have no plans to do so as things stand but, as the days go by, Campos and the club’s president, Nasser Al Khelaïfi, could change their minds.
🎙 Leo Messi: “I want to thank everyone for the welcome I received, from all the employees, my teammates and the staff. I’m happy, and I’m going to get ready for the upcoming challenges.” ❤️💙
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) January 4, 2023
Ligue 1 champions closing in on Messi contract deal
The tribute, however, is not PSG’s most pressing business when it comes to Messi. Negotiations over a contract renewal should see a deal concluded in late January.
In December, after three months of intense talks, the club reached an agreement in principle with the forward. The exact details of the contract are yet to be finalised, but all the indications are that Messi will remain in the French capital next season.