Lionel Messi has been accused of “disrespecting” Mauricio Pochettino, the manager of Paris Saint-Germain, for allegedly failing to inform him that he had tested positive for Covid-19.
Messi, who left Barcelona for PSG last summer, had returned to Argentina for the winter break in Ligue 1, when he tested positive for the virus last week.
Pochettino declared at a news conference that Messi would not return to France until he tested negative, according to local media sources, and that the former Tottenham manager only learned of Messi’s positive result from third parties.
Ex PSG player Jerome Rothen has now alleged that Pochettino has been “disrespected” by Messi, and has warned that if he does not retake control, the manager risks losing his job.
“You must always respect your coach, this is what I was taught in Clairefontaine,” Rothen told Radio Montecarlo.
“The coach must be above everyone else, it does not matter if it is a star or a youth player – the boss must be the head of the time.
“Pochettino was not updated as to where Messi was, and that explains a lot of things. This is not a good thing and I think it is very shocking from Messi.
“Pochettino is being disrespected by Lionel Messi. The coach must be the strong man, the one who shows the real values. The only one who strongly respects him, in my opinion, is Kylian Mbappe and I do not sense anything with the other players.
“If you don’t respect your coach then you cannot be successful. PSG has suffered a lot from this in recent years.”
Messi has had a slow start to his debut season at the Parc des Princes, with only one league goal in 11 games thus far.
However, the 34-year-old scored five goals in the Champions League group stages, and his French club will face Real Madrid in the last-16.