Global Courant 2023-05-05 21:58:16
This is Antoine Kombouaré, who was a player and coach of the Parisian club. “He is embarrassing…”, he stated before the press.
The link between Lionel Messi and Paris Saint-Germain seems to be inexorably going through its last weeks. The sanction that the club imposed on him this week for his trip to Saudi Arabia and the insults from a group of fans, who called him a “son of a bitch” in correct Spanish during a rally on Wednesday in front of the club headquarters, marked two pushes further towards breaking. However, not everyone in France welcomes the departure of the captain of the Argentine national team. One of those who strongly supported him was Antoine Kombouaré, former player and former PSG coach.
With the issue installed in any field of discussion of French football, Kombouaré, who leads Nantes, was asked about the situation of Rosario during the press conference prior to the game that his team will play on Sunday against Racing Strasbourg for the 34th date of Ligue 1. Initially he tried, with verbal dribbling, to avoid a response. But finally he released his tongue. And he did not resort to commitment phrases.
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“It bothers me what is happening. I have always said it: Messi must not be touched, whatever he does. I am passionate, I love as a player. When I hear the boys say that he doesn’t run on the field, I don’t give a shit, ”said the former defender, who wore the Parisian team’s jersey for almost six years in two cycles (between 1990 and 1995, and between 1998 and 1999). .
Antoine Kombouaré has been in charge of Nantes since February 2021. More than a decade ago he was coach of PSG. Photo: Frank Fife / AFP.
“If I had Messi, I would tell him to stay ahead, never defend. I would like to see him have fun and shine. It is my opinion, that of a passionate person. I don’t care about PSG’s problems, but don’t touch Messi, ”asked Kombouaré, who took his first steps as coach of the French capital club’s B team between 1999 and 2003, just after retiring from it. Six years later, he took over the main outfit, which he led until December 2011.
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Kombouaré knows in detail the internal life of the club and was the coach who experienced the transition from the old to the new PSG: he occupied the bench when Qatar Sports Investment (QSI) took control of the institution at the end of May 2011, after buying the 70% of the share package to the Colony Capital fund (in 2012 it acquired the remaining 30%). The DT was fired by the Qatari administration after the cast that included Javier Pastore and that led Ligue 1 was eliminated from the Europa League and the French Cup at the end of 2011.
“What is going to happen with Messi is PSG’s problem. I know he will leave and that makes me happy because we don’t deserve it. I am in love with Messi and I would pay to go see him play. Let’s not touch it! Thank you Messi!”, The passionate 59-year-old coach was dispatched at the end of his press conference.
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Lionel Messi begins to say goodbye to Paris. Photo: Christian Hartmann / Reuters.
Despite Kombouaré’s praise and pleas, Messi’s stay in France has just a few weeks left, as his contract expires on June 30 and will not be renewed. Leo’s fate is still unknown. The return to Barcelona is a concrete possibility, although for this the Catalan club will have to balance its budget to adjust to the financial regulations of the Spanish League.
In the last hours, and accelerated by the deterioration of the link with PSG, other options appeared on the table. A very powerful one, according to the figures mentioned, is that of the Saudi Al-Hilal, who would offer him a contract of 600 million dollars per season. There is also interest from Inter Miami of the American Major League Soccer. And some European media slipped on Thursday that an Italian club would also make an attempt for the Rosario star. For now, nothing concrete.