Why Messi was so angry at being substituted

Carlo Garganese

For the first time since 2010, Lionel Messi was substituted in a match where he was neither injured nor winning.

The Argentine was replaced on Sunday during PSG’s Ligue 1 match with Lyon at the Parc des Princes.

Messi was subbed off for Achraf Hakimi after 76 minutes while the scores were level at 1-1.

As the 34-year-old came off the pitch, he appeared to refuse the handshake of manager Mauricio Pochettino – apparently angry at being taken off.

The incident has caused a huge amount of controversy, with some criticising Messi for his egotistic behaviour and others blaming Pochettino.

The fact that this was the first time in 11 years that a fully fit Messi has been subbed while his team weren’t winning helps explain why he was annoyed.

Goalless start for Messi at PSG

PSG went on to win the game without Messi as substitute Mauro Icardi clinched a 2-1 victory three minutes into injury time.

It hasn’t been the greatest of starts for Messi so far as a PSG player as he is yet to score for his new club since arriving on a shock free transfer move from Barcelona this summer.

Lionel Messi at PSG: Goals, assists, results & fixtures in 2021-22

This is compared to his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who has had a stunning start to life at Manchester United after returning to the club from Juventus.

Ronaldo has scored four goals in three games, including two on his second debut against Newcastle United.

Cristiano Ronaldo at Man Utd: Goals, assists, results & fixtures in 2021-22

Messi would have been hoping to break his duck against Metz in midweek but he has been ruled out with a knee injury.

He will have a check-up on Thursday to see if he can be fit to play at the weekend.