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'Where's Mbappe?': PSG fans raise eyebrows after Messi receives world champion welcome

Weeks after Argentina beat France to win the Qatar World Cup 2022, legendary icon Lionel Messi returned to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and received a guard of honour. However, fans quickly pointed out that Kylian Mbappe was missing from the players and staff who welcomed the 35-year-old icon.

football Where is Kylian Mbappe PSG fans raise eyebrows after Argentina Lionel Messi receives world cup 2022 champion welcome snt
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First Published Jan 4, 2023, 5:48 PM IST

Legendary forward Lionel Messi returned to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) training on Tuesday, weeks after Argentina beat France on penalties to lift the coveted Qatar World Cup 2022. The 35-year-old icon, who was allowed to take a break following his exploits in the Gulf Nation, was given a guard of honour by his teammates and the club's staff ahead of their Coupe de France clash against Chateauroux on Friday.

During the Qatar World Cup 2022 final at Lusail Stadium, Messi scored a brace, while his PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe scored a sensational hat-trick for France, resulting in the scores level at 3-3 after extra time. However, Argentina trumped the 2018 winners on penalties 4-2. 

Also read: Fan who tattooed Messi's name on forehead after Argentina's World Cup 2022 win trolled for regretting decision

Argentina and Messi fans erupted in joy and celebrated the momentous occasion. However, Mbappe faced a mixed bag of reactions. While some fans applauded the World Cup Golden Boot winner's courage and grit, a few trolled him for several days, including Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez. The kind of treatment Mbappe faced was considered disrespectful by several football critics, leaving fans to wonder how his equation with Messi would be once they returned to their club's fold.

Upon his arrival at the PSG training centre, Messi received a guard of honour from his teammates and was also presented with special memorabilia by the club's Sporting Director, Luis Campos. However, fans were quick to raise the question, "Where is Mbappe?" after noticing that the French striker was missing from the world champion's welcome.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Paris Saint-Germain (@psg)

On Monday night, Mbappe and PSG teammate Achraf Hakimi attended an NBA clash between Brooklyn Nets and San Antonio Spurs at the Barclays Center, where Argentinian fans taunted the French star in the stands as they chanted 'Muchachos'. Pictures and videos of Mbappe's presence for a clash saw Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving's side manage to grab a comfortable 139-103 victory went viral. However, two days later, fans expected the France international to return to training and be present for Messi's special reception.

"LOL I think it's amazing that PSG gave Mbappe a break to do this," said one fan sarcastically, while another asked, "Was Mbappe there as well?"

A third fan commented, "Why u guys have so much hate towards Mbappe? Don't worry Mbappe already won the world cup he won't fight with Messi," while a fourth stated, "Neymar looks very happy. What a nice & genuine friendship!!"

Also read: It's Ronaldo vs Messi again! Stage set for epic clash as PSG to face combined XI of Al-Nassr & Al-Hilal stars

Here's a look at some of the other reactions on Twitter:

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