Galtier to play Messi ahead of World Cup as PSG stars return to training

Before Paris Saint-Germain’s final Ligue 1 match before the World Cup, Christophe Galtier vowed he would not rest players, while Lionel Messi returned to training.

After experiencing irritation in his Achilles tendon the previous week, Messi opted to sit out of PSG’s 2-1 victory against Lorient as a preventative measure, but Galtier insisted the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner would likely return before the tournament in Qatar.

Just 11 days before Argentina’s Group C campaign opener against Saudi Arabia, Messi has given the Albiceleste a boost by returning to PSG training along with France’s Presnel Kimpembe.

Galtier reaffirmed his intention to take his players’ worries seriously in the lead-up to the World Cup, but he does not want to use Sunday’s game as an occasion to make changes.

Galtier’s comment

“All the players are available except Fabian Ruiz,” Galtier said on Friday. “No player came to tell me that he did not want to play or that he was afraid of making this last match.

“My door is always open. They know they can come and talk all the time. I wouldn’t be surprised if a player came to see me and told me that he was apprehensive about the last game. 

“I have an obligation to put up a very competitive team against Auxerre. If there is strong restraint, I will be attentive to the comments of my players.”

On the eve of the competition, Senegal and Bayern Munich attacker Sadio Mane became the most recent high-profile player to experience a health scare, but Galtier is confident in his medical staff’s ability to control players’ fitness levels.

Galtier on Sadio Mane’s injury

“When I see an injured player like Sadio Mane, I’m always sad for him,” Galtier added. “The relationship is very direct between my medical staff and the medical staff of the national teams. 

“All the doctors of the teams are informed of the state of our players. Our selected players will be operational for Sunday’s match. The most important thing is to train well. 

“These players who are going to the World Cup are very high-level athletes and competitors. There may be this fear, but it is more around the environment of the players than from themselves.”

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