September 20, 2021

Pochettino Defends Messi’s Substitution and Handshake Snub

Paris Saint-Germain manager, Mauricio Pochettino, has revealed the reason why he substituted Lionel Messi, who looked angered by the decision, during his home debut against Lyon.

The Argentine forward got his first taste of the Parc de Princes on Sunday, 19 September, but it only lasted for 75 minutes, before Pochettino decided to replace him, while PSG was still trying for a winning goal.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner looked unhappy and refused to shake hands with his coach – the pair exchanged a few words – as Messi made his way to the bench.

Mauro Icardi saved PSG’s day and sealed a 2-1 comeback win during extra time.

During a post-match interview, the 49-year-old tactician explained his substitution decision and that Messi said that he was fine.

Pochettino said: “I took the decision to take Leo off to protect him from possible injuries. ​​We have important games coming up and we want to protect him.”

He added: “These are decisions that we make for the good of the team. Sometimes players like it and sometimes they don’t. Afterwards, Messi told me he was fine with the decision.”

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