Getting Messi: PSG chiefs rail over call-up for injured Argentine stars

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Paris Saint-Germain bigwigs are fuming over the international football rules which have robbed them of star signing Lionel Messi and his Argentina teammate Leandro Paredes much to the glee of the country's media.

The two have been on the sick list of the Ligue 1 pacesetters for the past fortnight forcing them to miss a game in the Champions League against RB Leipzig as well as the Ligue 1 clash at Bordeaux on 6 November.

However, despite their absences, the Argentina coach Lionel Sclaoni summoned them to South America for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Brazil.

The regulations of Fifa - world football’s governing body - say that players can be called up and assessed by the medical teams of their national squads even if their clubs do not want them to depart.

Anger

"We don't agree with letting a player leave for the national team who, for us, is not in good physical condition or who is in the rehabilitation phase," PSG sporting director Leonardo told Le Parisien newspaper.

“It's not logical and this type of situation deserves to be regulated by Fifa.”

After 11 of their 18 games, Argentina lie second on 25 points - six behind pacesetters Brazil.

With only five of the 10 teams advancing to Qatar, Argentina are not yet assured of qualification.

And the country’s media has feasted on Leonardo’s wrath to deify Messi who led the team to the 2021 Copa America.

Patriot

"Leo is more Argentine than Parisian,” crowed the daily newspaper Olé.

TYC Sports was more diplomatic but no less chauvinistic. "The commitment that Leo has always shown towards the national team is highly valued. Leonardo can say what he wants, there are rules and PSG must comply with them.

“Messi is not going to give in. He never has and there is no reason for him to do so at this stage of his career. The national team has always been one of his priorities.”

Since arriving from Barcelona in August, Messi has yet to score in five outings in Ligue 1.

However, he has netted three times during his three games against Bruges, Manchester City and RB Leipzig in the Champions League. A thigh injury and a sore knee ruled him out of PSG's draw in Leipzig on 3 November.

Just over a week on from the 2-2 result, Argentine media reported that Messi trained in preparation for Saturday’s match against Uruguay at the Estadio Campeon del Siglo in Montevideo.

It is understood the 33-year-old could sit out some of the game in order to be fully ready for the clash against pacesetters Brazil on 17 November in San Juan.

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