Henry ‘not surprised’ by ex-Barca pal Messi’s reaction to being subbed by Poch

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Thierry Henry has defended Lionel Messi for his reaction to being substituted in the middle of his hunt for the first Paris Saint-Germain goal.

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The 34-year-old striker was slammed with a 1-1 scoreline during Les Parisiens’ clash with Lyon on Sunday.

Thierry Henry defends Lionel Messi for turning down Mauricio Pochettino’s handshakecredit: EPA
Messi was not impressed after the loss against Lyon

Messi was not impressed after the loss against Lyoncredit: AFP

Coach Mauricio Pochettino stuck to his decision to replace new signing Messi after Mauro Icardi snatched a late winner for the team.


But the game was somewhat affected by the incident between the manager and his player after the 76th minute swap.

Henry, 44, does not believe the incident will lead to animosity between the pair as Messi was deeply disappointed by the ouster.

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He told Amazon Prime’s coverage: “It didn’t surprise me.

“Maybe he didn’t want to come out.

“We don’t know what they are saying to each other. Let’s not start a dispute.

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“He definitely wanted to be on the pitch so he could score.”

Henry won the treble with Messi during his late-00s stint at Barcelona.

And although the Argentine has now failed to register in his first three games for PSG, his old teammate is confident that moment will come ‘quietly’.

He added: “It takes time to adapt – even to the best player in the world.”

Pochettino will likely provide Messi with another chance for PSG when the Ligue 1 side travels to Metz on Wednesday.

Speaking after the game, the former defender was adamant that even his star name would have to make way to give opportunities to other players.

He insisted: “Decisions in sport are made for the good of the team and each player.

“Every coach thinks about it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes players like it and sometimes they don’t.

“At the end of the day, that’s why we are here. These are decisions that the coach has to make.

“As far as his reaction is concerned, I asked him how he was, he said he was fine. That’s all. That was our exchange.”

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Pochettino says he is happy with Messi’s performance for PSG against Club Brugge

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