Leo Messi, barely returned to France after his coronation in Qatar, as well as Kylian Mbappé and Achraf Hakimi, on vacation, will not make the trip to Indre either.

"The absence of Neymar (...) had been planned for some time. The players who left for the World Cup were + assessed + by our medical staff, and we had decided that + Ney + would treat his big sprained ankle in that period," said Galtier during the traditional pre-match press conference.

The Brazilian suffered a sprained right ankle in Brazil's first World Cup game against Serbia before returning in the round of 16, scoring a goal against South Korea.

The Seleçao was eliminated in the quarter by Croatia.

The capital club will therefore not be able to count on any of the members of its attacking trio, the "MNM", because Leo Messi only returned to training on Wednesday, after celebrating his victory at the World Cup, and Kylian Mbappé is at rest.

"We wanted (Leo Messi) to recover at home, with his family. Obviously, he won't be playing tomorrow (Friday)", explained Galtier.

"I will be very attentive to what he will tell me, but we want him to be available for the next match."

Or the reception of Angers on January 11 on behalf of the 18th day of Ligue 1.

"Opportunity for some young people"

Galtier also wanted Messi to be celebrated by the public at the Parc des Princes for his world title.

"I hope he will be celebrated by our supporters. It's Leo Messi, we are very lucky to have him at home."

Kylian Mbappé and Moroccan right-back Achraf Hakimi benefit from a few days of vacation after resuming training and competition in the wake of the 2022 World Cup.

These absences combined with the rank of the opponent - Châteauroux evolves in National, the third level of French football - will give "an opportunity for certain young people to be able to start or have more minutes", also said Galtier.

The coach also announced that the Costa Rican Keylor Navas would start in the cages of Paris Saint-Germain, rather than the Italian Gianluigi Donnarumma, usual holder of the position.

Asked about Neymar, who returned very disappointed from Qatar after the elimination against Croatia and then excluded during his resumption match with PSG against Strasbourg, Galtier said he was "not at all worried".

"We have a Neymar like what he has been doing since the start of the season," he said.

"He was very disappointed, we are lucky to have a very invested Neymar. Obviously, we pay attention to him physically."

© 2023 AFP