It's no longer news to football fans and lovers of the game that Lionel Messi, the PSG striker, was suspended from activities at the club as of Monday with respect to his absence on the training ground due to an unauthorized visit he participated in with his family to Saudi Arabia. This has garnered a lot of reactions from fans and pundits as a show of disrespect to the football prodigy. A slogan has already been conjured up by netizens with regards to the club: "I am leaving with Messi".
In the heat of all this, the Argentinian-born striker has already come out to apologize to everyone. Leo Messi's statement: "I thought we were going to have a day off after the game as always. I had this trip organized, and I couldn't cancel it. I had already canceled it before…”. “I apologize to my teammates, and I'm waiting to see what the club wants to do with me". This attitude has been applauded by supporters as an act of respect to the head of the club and also as an act that shows great sportsmanship by a player of this caliber.
Recall that Ronaldo left Old Trafford as a Manchester United player late last year to join his present Saudi Arabian club, Al Nassr. This unexpected exit has been suspected to be a result of the bad blood between manager Erik Ten Hag and Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo. In a Piers Morgan interview, Christiano said that he lacked respect for his manager. In his own words, "I don't have respect for him because he doesn't show respect for me," Ronaldo told Morgan of Ten Hag. "If you don't have respect for me, I'm never going to have respect for you". Although Erik Ten Hag initiated that Ronaldo wanted to leave, there was no reason to hold on. “He wanted to leave; it was quite clear. And when a player definitely doesn’t want to be in this club, he has to go." The interview was the first time he said he wanted to leave. I think, as a club, you can’t accept that. To make that step, he knew the consequences".
This led to Cristiano Ronaldo leaving the club in December 2022. The words spilled out by Ronaldo on the show were said to be ones of no necessity, and if he should have had a problem with his boss, it should have been behind closed doors and not in the open. In this aspect, Lionel Messi was seen as the bigger man, as he showed sportsmanship and held the head of his club in high regard.
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