Despite struggling with both knee and hamstring issues in recent weeks, Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi flew out on Sunday to report for international duty with Argentina, much to the dismay of his club's sporting director Leonardo.
The 34-year-old has missed a total of nine games so far in the 2021/22 season due to various fitness concerns - and has still yet to score a league goal for PSG since joining from Barcelona in August.
Although well aware of Messi's current physical woes, Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni still called up the six-time Ballon d'Or winner for the Albiceleste's upcoming matches against Brazil and Uruguay.
Messi captained Argentina to success at this past summer's Copa America, landing the first major international trophy of his career in the process.
As you might expect, Messi is keen to follow up that triumph by lifting the 2022 World Cup in Qatar next year.
Mindful of this when he agreed his blockbuster move to the Parc des Princes, the player negotiated a clause in his PSG contract which permits him to prioritise international duty over his commitments with the Ligue 1 outfit.
Ultimately, this puts Messi in full control over whether he accepts the invitation to represent his country, with PSG having no choice but to go along with the player's wishes.
Leonardo brands Messi's 'Argentina' contract clause "not logical"
This now seems to be a concession that PSG chief Leonardo regrets. If nothing else, he's certainly not happy with Messi jetting out to play for Argentina while still finding his way back to fitness.
"It is not logical, and these types of situations deserve a real agreement with FIFA," the Brazilian insisted.
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Leonardo's frustration is understandable, Messi has been absent from PSG's last two games, having been forced off at half-time in their league encounter with Lille last month. His link up with Argentina naturally carries a risk of a further injury setback, which is the absolute last thing that the club would want, particularly given Messi's underwhelming start to life in Paris.
With that said, the PSG hierarchy did agree to the clause - and must now abide by it. FIFA is unlikely to want to rule on what would essentially be a contractual dispute between player and club in the future in any case.
Messi's devotion to his country is unquestionable. Already Argentina's most-capped player (156 appearances) and record goalscorer (80 goals), he appears intent on contributing as much as possible for his nation before he hangs up his boots.
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