The waters are not calm at Paris Saint-Germain. What should have been all good things for the French club has turned into a storm.
The friction between their two most recognised stars, Lionel Messi – a World Cup winner with Argentina in Qatar – and Kylian Mbappe – beaten finalist with France – has left an open wound amongst the PSG teammates.
It’s a wound that could increase with Messi‘s rumoured contract renewal until 2024, and his requests to president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
One of the most controversial gestures came after Messi returned from his holiday.
When his teammates wanted to pay tribute to him for the victory in Qatar, Mbappe took a few days off, authorised by the club, to the United States. Even Christophe Galtier, the PSG coach himself, had to intervene.
“Leo didn’t have any bad behaviour and in the four months I’ve been here I think the relationship he has with Kylian is good.
“Kylian had a good attitude, he was disappointed with the defeat but he went to congratulate Leo with a lot of class. I think that’s good for the sport and for the team.”
But the images on the pitch in the World Cup final are clear. Both forgot the colours of the French club and engaged in a brawl that did not go unnoticed.
A moment that quickly went viral on social media and was commented on by everyone.
Can Messi and Mbappe continue to work together?
The victory Argentina was a blow to Mbappe. His renewal with Paris Saint-Germain is reportedly signed and many are wondering what demands he made.
The first would undoubtedly be to become the leader of the sporting project, which would leave Kylian Mbappe in the background, who, it should be recalled, axed his move to Real Madrid precisely to take that role in the team.
Messi could also ask for his friend Neymar to stay at the club, something that has been called into question in recent days, as the French club will also have to readjust their wage bill.
In addition, Messi has already seen two of his team-mates Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes being let go last summer.
All this could once again provoke a storm that will be difficult to control.
Messi remains a clear MLS target, with Inter Miami confirming before the start of the tournament in Qatar that talks with the Argentine were at an advanced stage and Mbappe, for his part, continuing to show signs that he is even willing to reduce his fee to move if nothing changes at PSG.
For the time being, with Mbappe given a few days’ rest, neither Neymar nor Messi will be available for Paris Saint-Germain‘s Coupe de France match against third-division side Chateauroux.