Lionel Messi's 'Argentina clause' set to be used for first time since PSG transfer
Lionel Messi's Argentina clause is set to come into play for the first time since he signed with PSG.
The forward penned a two year deal in Paris this summer having left Barcelona on a free.
Negotiations between the player and the club were wrapped up swiftly, but Messi was keen to insert a unique demand.
He wants to be able to prioritise his national side with the World Cup in Qatar a year away, reports Argentine outlet TyC Sports .
Messi has just helped Argentina win the Copa America, the first international success of his career.
Now he wants to be able to continue representing the South American country without a club vs country war.
As a result Argentina's games will take precedent and that is set to be the case this weekend.
They face Bolivia in a World Cup qualifier in the early hours of Friday morning whilst PSG play Clermont in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
Messi cannot feature in both games so will represent his country, delaying his home debut in Paris.
Part of the 34-year-old's clause also allows Argentina to use PSG facilities when necessary.
Four of the country's stars, including Angel di Maria, all ply their trade at the Parc des Princes so the request makes sense on a logistical level.
Messi's aim now is to lead Argentina to World Cup glory, having fallen narrowly short in 2014.
In 2018 they reached the last 16 but the country's last success came when Diego Maradona inspired them in 1986.
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner made his PSG debut in their recent 2-0 win at Reims.
He appeared off the bench in a game that broke Ligue 1 viewing records as interest in the clash skyrocketed.
Mauricio Pochettino was impressed by Messi's cameo claiming he bought a sense of calmness to the team.
“I felt it as soon as he came onto the field and his first touches of the ball,” said the PSG boss.
“He brought a calmness to the team. It’s very important to get off to a good start, even for him.
“He was happy and he is well integrated into the group. It was a question of common sense to give him his debut.”
“The welcome, it was something beautiful to see and hear from our supporters, but also from Reims fans. Messi was very happy about it,” added Pochettino.
“The motivation of the competition is there for everyone, but his presence brings optimism.
“Everyone feels it. It has an influence on the other players.”