Fans Slam PSG Boss Mauricio Pochettino as Lionel Messi's Reaction to Being Subbed Goes Viral
17:23 GMT 20.09.2021 (Updated: 11:43 GMT 10.12.2022)
Unlike his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been on fire, scoring goals in each of the three games that he has played for Manchester United after his return to Old Trafford from Juventus, Argentine skipper Lionel Messi is yet to open his account for Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).
Lionel Messi supporters slammed PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino for his decision to substitute the ex-Barcelona talisman with just 14 minutes to go on the match clock during the team's game against Lyon at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.
Messi looked his usual self, dominating the possession of the ball in the first half and remained a lurking danger to Lyon's defence, even in the second half, but Pochettino chose to replace him.
The decision didn't go down too well with the 34-year-old footballer as he looked a little bemused after he was taken off the match.
Messi didn’t shake hands with Pochettino pic.twitter.com/od8JkMfH0X— Drizzy (@messiprimes) September 19, 2021
Meanwhile, the conversion between the Argentina maestro and Pochettino spurred a big debate on Twitter with several Messi admirers requesting the club's board to sack the manager.
On the other hand, a few called Pochettino's choice as "the craziest decision ever," others declared it as "absolutely ridiculous."
Messi to Pochettino: I don’t care. I have already told the Board to sack you next week. 😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/Ja7bjOkfnM— Jesse Lingard (@Jesse__Lingard_) September 20, 2021
This man removed Messi. 😂 Pochettino won't last at PSG. This is the craziest decision ever! 😂— BeksFCB (@Joshua_Ubeku) September 19, 2021
Messi was the best player on the pitch, and Pochettino chose to sub him out. Absolutely ridiculous.#PochettinoOUT pic.twitter.com/oAOGCgws4a— José Henrique #LM7 (@josephsn_7) September 19, 2021
Get Pochettino out. This guy shouldn’t even be managing the U16’s, let alone Messi. pic.twitter.com/3qyu5T9RA6— MC (@CrewsMat10) September 19, 2021
It turns out Pochettino is not aware that the last manager who took off Messi couldn't keep his job for more than a month https://t.co/trKyV1wwuu— Parker × M9 🦁 (@RobertonicaI) September 19, 2021
However, the good news for Pochettino was that his side didn't lose the match despite his controversial decision.
While Messi was replaced by Morocco defender Achraf Hakimi, it was Mauro Icardi, who secured PSG's 2-1 win with his stoppage-time winner.
It was PSG's sixth triumph in as many matches in Ligue 1, and they are currently the table toppers with 18 points. Marseille are second with 13 points.
After the game ended in PSG's hard-fought victory, Pochettino backed Messi's substitution.
"Everyone knows we have great players, a squad of 35. It is my decision. We can only have 11 players on the field at one time," Pochettino said.
"I only think about the best decision in each game, for each player, just as every coach does. We are here to make decisions. Sometimes people will be happy with them, sometimes they won't be," he added.
The 49-year-old former Tottenham coach also dismissed the speculations that Messi was unhappy with his actions.
"I asked him how he was and he said he was fine," Pochettino claimed.