Soccer

Lionel Messi questionable for Wednesday’s PSG vs. Nice clash with stomach flu symptoms

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Paris Saint-Germain have announced that seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi is suffering from “symptoms of gastroenteritis” and was unable to train on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s Ligue 1 clash with OGC Nice at Parc des Princes.

The legendary Argentine is joined by compatriot Leandro Paredes in suffering from the same issue while Neymar remains out having damaged ankle ligaments in the 3-1 away win over AS Saint-Etienne last weekend.

“Lionel Messi and Leandro Paredes did not participate in today’s training session due to symptoms of gastroenteritis,” read a PSG medical update on Tuesday. “An update will be given tomorrow morning.

“Neymar Jr is suffering from a sprained left ankle with ligament damage. An unavailability of 6 to 8 weeks is expected. A new update will be made in 48 hours to clarify his development.”

“I am sad for him because he is someone who loves to play soccer above all else,” said Pochettino un press conference about Neymar’s latest injury. “We are not trying to replace Neymar but find solutions to have the best tactical balance.

“I think the principles of the team and of the game are going to be there. We will continue to develop what we want since the start of the year beyond the players who are there on the pitch. We have possibilities to adapt and make up for the absence of Neymar.”

Mauro Icardi is back in training ahead of the game while Georginio Wijnaldum is expected to be back on Thursday with Ander Herrera due before the end of the week with Julian Draxler still two or three weeks away from recovery.

On Messi’s latest Ballon d’Or triumph, Pochettino expressed his delight for his fellow Argentine on becoming the first PSG player to receive the award.

“First I want to publicly congratulate Leo and his family,” said the former Tottenham Hotspur manager. “Winning seven Ballons d’Or is an amazing achievement. I hope he takes the opportunity and that it is the first day to work on getting an eighth.

“For all the players to have him with six and now seven Ballons d’Or is something extraordinary and we are delighted to have him here every day. We hope at the end of the year to also have collective trophies beyond the individual trophies.

“Messi completely deserved it and there is no debate. Of course, in other countries there may be criticism. He completely deserved it, though.”

PSG welcome Nice to the French capital on Wednesday evening and you can find our viewing guide for the Ligue 1 clash right here.


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