Why Mauricio Pochettino really substituted Lionel Messi in Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 clash this past weekend has seemingly been revealed.
According to L'Equipe, the 34-year-old was carrying a knock before being taken off by his manager in the 75th minute of their 2-1 league win over Olympique Lyon on Sunday night.
Messi seemed to be visibly confused and annoyed by Pochettino's decision to substitute him, but it has been suggested that the ex-Tottenham Hotspur boss decided he was not going to risk the six-time Ballon d'Or winner's fitness by letting him play on.
See pictures of Pochettino and Messi's heated exchange in the gallery below:
It is further claimed that Messi has since been treated for the knee injury he sustained, while it is thought he will not need to serve any period on the sidelines.
Per L'Equipe, the former Barcelona No. 10 signalled to the PSG bench that he was fine to continue in the match, which was why he was surprised to be substituted with the score at 1-1.
Messi was replaced by ex-Inter Milan fullback Achraf Hakimi, but it was Mauro Icardi's introduction that would eventually pay off as the striker scored Les Parisiens' winner late in stoppage time.