Lionel Messi’s Bitter Divorce From P.S.G.

Mondays are traditionally a day off for P.S.G.’s players after a victory. When they lose, however, the players are expected to train.

By Monday afternoon, though, Messi and his family were already being photographed in Saudi Arabia, fulfilling a part of the player’s multiyear contract to promote the Gulf kingdom’s tourism authority. In Paris, club officials were formulating their furious response to their star’s unapproved absence.

By Tuesday evening, word started to spread that P.S.G. would not indulge Messi. Officially, the club has been tight-lipped. But the penalties meted out to Messi were quickly leaked: He had been suspended from practice and games for two weeks, during which time he would not receive a cent of his gargantuan salary, reported to be close to $800,000 a week. Privately, a club official said it was unlikely Messi would ever wear the club’s colors again.

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