Lionel Messi has apologised to Paris Saint-Germain and his teammates for taking an unauthorised two-day trip to Saudi Arabia earlier this week.
The World Cup winner was suspended by PSG for two weeks, during which time he is banned from playing or training with the team and will have his pay docked, according to reports in France.
“First of all, I want to apologise to my teammates and the club,” Messi said in the video clip, posted to his Instagram story. “Honestly, I thought we [the squad] were going to have a day off after the game like we did in previous weeks.”
“I had this trip [to Saudi Arabia] organised which I had cancelled [once] already; I could not cancel it again,” Messi added. “I repeat: I want to say sorry for what I did. I’m waiting to hear what the club want to do with me”.
There have been widespread reports this week that Messi will not be offered a new contract this summer, when his current deal ends. On Friday the PSG head coach, Christophe Galtier, said the player will talk about his immediate future with the club when he returns from suspension.
“We’ll see when Leo returns what will happen,” Galtier told a press conference on Friday. “Obviously, there will be discussions with the entire club but also with Leo, who is the primary person involved.”
Galtier added that the club told him Messi had been suspended, but declined to say if he endorsed the sanction. “I did not have to make the decision,” the coach said. “I was informed of the decision.”
Reports have linked Messi to Inter Miami in MLS, a return to Barcelona or a lucrative move to Saudi Arabia with Al Hilal. It has been a turbulent week for the French league leaders, with some fans gathering outside Neymar’s home to call for him to leave the club too.
“Private life must remain private,” Galtier said in response to the protests. “I can understand the anger, the disappointment of our fans. I can understand protesting here at our workplace after a match at Parc des Princes.”
But going to players’ private homes is “out of control and dangerous,” said Galtier. Neymar had season-ending surgery on his right ankle in March.