Lionel Messi, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, has been criticized by UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin for his perceived lack of support for his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe.

UEFA President Criticizes Messi's Silence Over Racist Abuse of PSG Teammate Kylian Mbappe.
UEFA President Criticizes Messi’s Silence Over Racist Abuse of PSG Teammate Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe, who is widely regarded as one of the most promising young talents in world football, was subjected to racist abuse on social media after missing a crucial penalty in PSG’s Champions League semi-final defeat to Manchester City in May 2021. In the aftermath of the incident, many of Mbappe’s teammates, including Neymar and Marco Verratti, publicly voiced their support for the French international.

However, Messi, who had only recently joined PSG at the time, remained silent on the issue, which did not sit well with UEFA President Ceferin. In a recent interview with Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Ceferin criticized Messi‘s lack of support for Mbappe, saying that “when somebody is a great player, they have to be a leader on and off the field. It’s not enough to just play well – you have to stand up for your teammates when they need it.”

UEFA President Criticizes Messi's Silence Over Racist Abuse of PSG Teammate Kylian Mbappe.
UEFA President Criticizes Messi’s Silence Over Racist Abuse of PSG Teammate Kylian Mbappe.

Ceferin’s comments have sparked a debate among football fans and analysts, with many questioning whether Messi’s silence was a deliberate snub or simply a case of him not wanting to get involved in a controversy. Some have also pointed out that Messi may have been dealing with his own personal issues at the time, such as the death of his former Barcelona teammate Diego Maradona.

Regardless of the reasons behind Messi’s silence, the incident has highlighted the growing problem of racism in football, particularly on social media. UEFA and other football governing bodies have taken steps to combat the issue, but many believe that more needs to be done to protect players from abuse and hold perpetrators accountable.

UEFA President Criticizes Messi's Silence Over Racist Abuse of PSG Teammate Kylian Mbappe.
UEFA President Criticizes Messi’s Silence Over Racist Abuse of PSG Teammate Kylian Mbappe.

In the meantime, Messi’s silence has become a talking point among football fans, with some questioning whether his perceived lack of leadership could impact his legacy as one of the greatest players of all time. Only time will tell how the incident will be remembered, but one thing is clear – in football, as in life, silence can often speak louder than words.

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