Lionel Messi was welcomed back to Paris Saint-Germain training with a guard of honour after inspiring Argentina to World Cup glory last month.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner was given an extended break by his club after scoring seven times and assisting three more in Qatar.
Messi, who announced ahead of the tournament it would be his last World Cup participation, landed a second Golden Ball for his starring role in Argentina’s third global triumph.
He has played no part in PSG’s two matches since Qatar 2022, missing the win over Strasbourg and defeat to Lens in Ligue 1, but he was back in Paris on Wednesday.
PSG’s players and coaching staff formed a tunnel for Messi as he walked out of their training base, before he was handed a small trophy by sporting director Luis Campos.
Leo Messi honored by his teammates, coaching staff and Training Center staff pic.twitter.com/RBc23vfvSe
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) January 4, 2023
Neymar was among those to greet Messi upon his arrival, but Kylian Mbappe – a beaten finalist at Messi’s expense – was absent after being given a breather by Christophe Galtier.
Messi may now be in contention to play a part in Friday’s round-of-64 Coupe de France tie with third-tier side Chateauroux.
Prior to heading off to the World Cup, the 35-year-old scored 12 goals and assisted 14 more in 19 appearances this season.
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