(Saint-Germain-en-Laye) His press conference, the first since the suspension of Lionel Messi by the management of PSG, was eagerly awaited on Friday, but Christophe Galtier carefully kicked into touch, while leaving the door open to a return of its Argentine superstar.
“I was informed earlier this week by my management of their decision to suspend Leo (Messi). Once I was informed of the decision, I made the decision not to comment on it. I am an employee of the club, a decision is made, I do not comment on it, “explained the Parisian coach two days before the trip to Troyes (8:45 p.m.).
“I didn’t have to make the decision,” he added.
Paris SG on Tuesday suspended the Argentine world champion several days after a trip to Saudi Arabia as part of a partnership with the Saudi tourist office, carried out without the agreement of its leaders. During this suspension, he does not train, does not play and is not paid.
According to several media, it will last two weeks, information that the club did not confirm to AFP.
Messi, 36 in June, whose departure from PSG is more than likely in June after two largely disappointing seasons, will he play again on Ligue 1 grounds after this suspension?
“We will see when Leo comes back, we will see what will happen, obviously there will be discussions with the whole club, but also with Leo who is the first concerned”, answered Christophe Galtier, who did not wish to comment further on this subject.
In Argentina, the press welcomed this decision with skepticism. The newspaper Olé judges it in particular “too severe […] because it is the best in the world, that he had an exemplary conduct in his career”.
In France, former PSG player and coach Antoine Kombouaré blasted Messi’s “lynching” because “we don’t touch Messi no matter what he does”.
On Wednesday, it was the supporters who expressed their dissatisfaction with the results and the situation of the club, in front of the headquarters of PSG and the home of Neymar.
Several security guards were present on Friday near Camp des Loges.
“Regarding the meeting in front of a player’s home, you have to be careful about that and privacy is privacy. I can understand the anger, the disappointment of our supporters, the demonstration in front of the headquarters, our workplace, but I do not accept that we go to a player’s home, because there may be excesses, because our society has gone mad,” reacted the coach.
“Will we see Neymar again next season? I’m already very ‘focused’ on our last five games and we’ll see what happens next season,” Galtier kicked.
During the rally in front of the PSG headquarters, the coach was also targeted by insults, like Messi, Neymar or Marco Verrati.
“I’m exposed as a coach, I understand, but I stay focused,” he continued.
After their sixth defeat this season, PSG, still leaders and on the way to winning their 11th title, travels to Troyes (18th, 22 points) on Sunday to try to get a break in this dark end of the season.
“Telling you we’re having a good time?” No, I grant you that. But there is a goal to achieve and my players are working,” Galtier said, and “don’t think my players don’t care when there’s a loss, I’ve seen the reaction of the group, we’re all focused and concerned”.
“It’s not enough, but there is a title to go for […], there is the reality of the locker room and it shows me that they want to seek the title. It’s an unhappy group when the team loses,” he said.