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Messi has returned to PSG training

PARIS | Lionel Messi has resumed training with Paris St Germain, the Ligue 1 club said yesterday, after the striker was suspended for skipping a training session due to a trip to Saudi Arabia.

According to French media, Messi was suspended for two weeks following an unapproved travel to Saudi Arabia the day after the Ligue 1 leaders’ 3-1 defeat to Lorient last month.

Messi, who apologized to PSG and his teammates on Friday, was left out of the squad for Sunday’s 3-1 win against Troyes.

PSG posted a picture of Messi training on social media, along with the caption: “The Argentinian striker from Paris Saint-Germain was back in training on Monday 8 May.”

PSG are six points clear of Lens and eight in front of Olympique de Marseille with four more rounds of games remaining this season.

Messi’s future at PSG has been the subject of much speculation in recent days.

A source close to Argentina’s captain told Reuters that he received a formal offer to join Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal next season, with a contract renewal at PSG not on the cards for the World Cup winner who turns 36 next month.

The oil-rich nation appointed Messi its tourism ambassador last year and he visited Jeddah in May 2022.

He returned in January to play a friendly match with PSG against a team of Saudi League stars, when he faced great rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

Paris Saint-Germain got their bid for a record 11th French league title back on track by beating Troyes 3-1 on Sunday after a troubled week for the Qatar-owned club.

After PSG lost to Lorient at home the previous weekend, angry fans protested outside the club’s headquarters and at the home of injured Brazilian star Neymar.

Adding to the sense of crisis, the club suspended Lionel Messi for a reported two weeks after he made an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia.

But the win at relegation-threatened Troyes, combined with Marseille’s 2-1 defeat at Lens on Saturday, gave PSG a six-point cushion over second-placed Lens.

Kylian Mbappe scored first with a close-range header after seven minutes, drawing level with Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette on 24 league goals this season.

Vitinha’s right-footed finish on 58 minutes seemed to have put PSG on the way to victory but they lowered their guard and allowed Xavier Chavalerin to pull a goal back for Troyes when he headed past Gianluigi Donnarumma.

PSG poured forward looking for a third goal and after Mbappe’s poked finish from Renato Sanches was saved, Fabian Ruiz curled in the rebound to make the three points safe.

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