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'I apologise' - Lionel Messi releases shock statement after Saudi Arabia trip backlash & is 'waiting for what PSG wants to do' amid exit rumours

  • Messi made unsanctioned Saudi visit
  • Was suspended by PSG
  • Argentine apologised in social media video

WHAT HAPPENED? Messi was punished by the French side after travelling to Saudi Arabia in a sponsored visit and is not expected to feature in the games against Troyes and Ajaccio. The Argentina star has responded to the backlash by apologising to the club and his team-mates, saying that he thought he had a day off and was unable to cancel the trip.

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WHAT THEY SAID: Messi said in a broadcast on social media: “Hello. Well, I wanted to make this video after everything that's going on. First of all, I apologise again to my team-mates at the club. I honestly thought that we were going to have the day off after the game as we had done before. I had organised this trip to Saudi Arabia, which I had previously cancelled and I couldn't go. Once again, I apologise for what I did. So here I am, waiting to see what the club wants to do, nothing more. A hug."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi's suspension by PSG has sparked claims the World Cup winner has played his last game for the club. There will be just three games left to play after his ban ends and the forward is said to have decided that he will leave the Ligue 1 team at the end of the season, with Barcelona and Inter Miami touted as possible destinations. PSG fans protested against Messi and team-mate Neymar outside the club's headquarters this week, which the French champions said was "shameful".

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WHAT NEXT? Messi will watch on from the sidelines as PSG look to defend their five-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 when they meet Troyes on Sunday.