Galtier: Messi's suspension 'nothing to do with me' as PSG coach condemns Neymar protests

Paris Saint-Germain manager insists his team is 'focused and committed' after a poor run of form

PSG manager Christophe Galtier said Lionel Messi's suspension added to an unpleasant period for the club. Reuters
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Paris Saint-Germain manager Christophe Galtier said Lionel Messi's suspension was the club's decision while he also condemned the Ligue 1 side's fans for staging protests outside Neymar's house.

Messi, 35, is serving a two-week suspension after an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia when he was supposed to train with his team following their 3-1 defeat at home to Lorient in the league on Sunday.

The Argentine superstar is now expected to leave PSG when his contract at the end of the season, with rumours suggesting Saudi giants Al Hilal area poised to make a hugely lucrative offer.

"I was informed by the board at the start of the week of the decision to suspend Messi. When I was informed, I had the responsibility of not commenting on it," Galtier told a press conference ahead of Sunday's game at Troyes.

"I'm employed by the club and that is my role. The decision was nothing to do with me. I was informed of the decision.

"Leo's suspension has added to poor performances, we can't hide behind that. I can't say it has been a pleasant period. There's a target to achieve, players are working hard. We are focused and committed."

PSG lead the standings but last weekend's loss has reduced the advantage over second-placed Marseille to five points with five games left this season.

PSG's dip in form this year, especially after they were knocked out of the Champions League in the last-16 in early March by Bayern Munich, has been a cause for concern for supporters.

Galtier's side were unbeaten in all competitions until December but have since lost nine games, with fans protesting outside Neymar's home this week chanting for him to leave.

Lionel Messi's family holiday in Saudi Arabia

The Brazilian has been ruled out for the rest of the season after ankle surgery in March but Galtier declined to comment on whether the forward would be at the club next season.

PSG condemned the fans' actions while Galtier said it was unacceptable for supporters to protest outside a player's house.

"Regarding the protests in front of a player's home, we have to be careful with that. Private life must remain private," he said.

"I can understand the anger, the disappointment of our fans. You may protest at the training ground or at the PSG office or after a match at the Parc des Princes. But I cannot accept it at anyone's house - whether it's Neymar or anyone else."

Updated: May 05, 2023, 1:10 PM