The former England boss highlighted Messi’s involvement in the next World Cup as being central to the player’s decision – as he was asked about the superstar striker’s potential move to the Middle East
Fabio Capello warned Lionel Messi he faces a difficult decision if he wants to defect to Saudi Arabia.
The former England boss highlighted Messi’s involvement in the next World Cup as being central to the player’s decision – as he was asked about the superstar striker’s potential move to the Middle East.
Capello intimated that the 35-year-old will have to think long and hard about his next move with no shortage of interest in the forward – if he decides to move from Paris Saint-Germain.
However, he said: “Messi will be happy wherever he decides to go. He’s not the best for me at this moment – but before he was the best. If he wants to go to Barcelona, he goes to Barcelona, if he goes to Saudi Arabia, he goes to push the football or for the money.
“He said he wants to play in the next World Cup. And the Argentina manager said the same. This decision will be very important for him.”
Capello also answered the question that has dogged countless pub conversations across the globe for the past decade. He said: “Messi is fantastic for me, Messi is incredible because he made something that was impossible to think. I chose Messi and not Ronaldo – always.
“I managed Messi’s team when he played in a charity team. But, for me, Mbappe is now the best player in the world. Now, he now offers something different. He’s strong, fast. He scores a lot of goals but he doesn’t have the fantasy of Messi.”
Messi, meanwhile, has returned to training with PSG following his suspension over an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia.
The Ligue 1 club confirmed on their official Twitter account on Monday morning that the 35-year-old Argentina international was back among the fold after he was fined and suspended for undertaking a promotional visit to the Middle East country without permission.
The post, which was accompanied by a photograph of the World Cup winner in training kit, said simply: “Leo Messi back in training this Monday morning.”
Messi, who is an ambassador for the Saudi Tourism Authority, was pictured in Riyadh the day after his side had suffered a surprise defeat to Lorient.
He later revealed in a video posted on his official Instagram account that he had to make the trip for contractual reasons, having previously cancelled it, and had assumed he had a day off.
Messi said: “I wanted to make this video due to everything that is happening. First of all, I want to say sorry to my team-mates and to the club. I honestly thought that we were going to be free after the game, as had been the case in previous weeks.
“I had organised this trip to Saudi Arabia, which had been cancelled previously and this time I couldn’t. I apologise again and I’m here for whatever the club decide. All the best.”
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner joined PSG from Barcelona in August 2021 after the Catalan club ran into severe financial difficulties and, although a return has been mooted, those difficulties make that unlikely.
In recent days, he has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia’s Pro League amid reports he could earn up to £320million a year.