Paris Saint-Germain will be missing one of their top stars when they face Lorient in Ligue 1 action on Sunday. Lionel Messi, one of their three attacking stars alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, will be absent for the match.
The Parisians come into Sunday’s match after a 2-1 win over Juventus in the UEFA Champions League in midweek.
That result was surprisingly not enough for PSG to secure top spot in their group as Benfica dramatically claimed first-place on the sixth tiebreaker (away goals scored).
PSG will be looking to put that disappointment behind them and cement their place at the top of Ligue 1 when they play Lorient. The defending Ligue 1 champions are two points ahead of Lens, with a game in hand.
But Lorient have lost just twice in the league this season and PSG will need to find a way to overcome them without Lionel Messi.
Why is Messi not playing for PSG this weekend?
Messi was ruled out of the Lorient match due to an Achilles tendon injury that is believed to have been picked up in the recent match against Juventus.
The Argentine star played the full 90 minutes midweek and claimed the assist for Kylian Mbappe’s opener.
Despite another strong performance, Messi won’t be risked against Lorient with signs suggesting his absence will be a short one.
“Leo Messi will remain in treatment for an inflamed Achilles tendon as a precautionary measure,” a PSG statement read.
“He will resume collective training next week.”
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) November 4, 2022
Will Messi play in the World Cup?
An injured Messi is a nightmare situation for Argentina fans with the 2022 World Cup now just a fortnight away.
Qatar will be Messi’s final World Cup, and Argentina are in a good position to be genuine title challengers.
Despite the forced break, the 35-year-old should be fit in time for the World Cup barring any further setbacks.
Messi could well have asked for a break to ensure his Achilles can properly recover before the tournament in Qatar.
Messi’s PSG future
PSG may have to get used to playing without Messi permanently if recent reports are to be believed.
The Argentine was recently linked with a move to MLS side Inter Miami with The Athletic reporting the club expect him to sign for next season in the coming months.
Messi is out of contract with PSG at the end of the 2022/23 season with PSG seemingly keen to re-sign him but facing stiff opposition to keep him.
This is Messi’s second season in Paris after leaving Barcelona — the other club also reportedly eager to secure the 35-year-old’s services moving forward.
Messi’s PSG record
After a solid if not spectacular first season with PSG, Messi has well and truly found his feet in 2022/23.
The Argentine is already on double digits for goals and assists in all competitions.
Messi also already has more goals to his name this season than he managed across his entire previous campaign, and nearly as many assists.
*As of November 5, 2022