Paris Saint-Germain has ordered heightened protection at the club’s training facility and at the houses of Lionel Messi and Neymar in response to demonstrations by fans disgruntled with recent results at the Ligue 1 leaders, sources close to the club told AFP on Thursday.
On Wednesday night, a few hundred PSG fans gathered in front of the club’s headquarters, where they set off smoke flares and yelled profanities at the team’s underperforming players, Messi, Neymar, and Italian midfielder Marco Verratti.
Then, some of them marched in black clothing to Neymar’s home in a posh neighborhood west of Paris while yelling “Neymar, get lost.”
On Wednesday evening, the team released a statement that said, “Paris Saint-Germain condemns in the strongest terms the unacceptable and insulting actions of a small group of individuals.”
Regardless of viewpoints, nothing excuses such actions.
In response, Neymar wrote on Instagram, “Don’t let others drag you into their storm. At PSG, I’ve sustained numerous injuries, and I won’t return until the end of the year. Leave them alone.
The club decided to step up security at its practice facility and outside the homes of the players singled out during the protests, according to two unnamed sources who spoke to AFP on the condition of anonymity.
According to one of the reports, several of the fans had stated that “they wanted to do the same thing every evening.”
The source claimed that the protesters left “calmly, several minutes after their arrival” without getting into any physical altercations with the police.
After receiving a two-week suspension on Wednesday for traveling to Saudi Arabia without the club’s permission to work in marketing, Messi’s future at PSG came into question.
At the conclusion of the current season, the 35-year-old Argentine who won the World Cup will be out of contract, and several teams, including Barcelona, are reportedly interested in signing him.
Messi participated fully in PSG’s 3-1 home loss to Lorient in Ligue 1 on Sunday.
He has drawn jeers from some PSG supporters who see him as the epitome of everything the club, which is owned by Qatar Sports Investments, a unit of the Gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund, has done wrong by putting superstar signings ahead of the creation of a genuinely competitive team.
Messi leads Ligue 1 with 20 goals and 15 assists this season across all competitions.
Since assisting Argentina in winning the World Cup in Qatar, his performance has declined along with that of the majority of the PSG team.
PSG’s mediocre performance against Lorient was their sixth defeat in 17 Ligue 1 contests in 2023.With five games left, they are still five points ahead of Marseille at the top of the standings.