Lionel Messi given guard of honour by PSG teammates as he returns to training after beating Kylian Mbappe and France to World Cup

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Lionel Messi has reported back to training at Paris Saint-Germain after celebrating winning the World Cup with Argentina in December.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner led the Albiceleste to glory in Qatar as they lifted their first World Cup since 1986.

Messi finally won the World Cup and has had some well deserved time off

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Messi finally won the World Cup and has had some well deserved time off

Messi was given a guard of honour on his first day back by players and staff at PSG

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Messi was given a guard of honour on his first day back by players and staff at PSG

And the 35-year-old was given a hero’s welcome upon his return at PSG’s training ground at the Camp des Loges on Wednesday morning, having spent the last few weeks in his native Argentina with his family.

The return of Messi will be a huge boost to the club after a disastrous return to action in Ligue 1 on New Year’s Day when they lost 3-1 to Lens – their first defeat in the league this season.

Lens are now just four points behind Christophe Galtier’s men and have looked in fine fettle throughout the campaign, determined to give Ligue 1 a genuine title race this year.

PSG had given Messi extended leave to both recover from the World Cup and spend time with his loved ones, following his jaw-dropping performances last month.

The former Barcelona star won the Golden Ball for his glistening displays at the tournament, which included seven goals in seven appearances and three assists – as well as two goals in the final itself against France.

There has been plenty of talk over whether Messi will extend his stay at PSG as his contract runs out at the end of the season but reports indicate that he is ready to put pen to paper over a new deal with the Ligue 1 champions.

According to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, the Argentine has made a verbal pact with PSG chiefs and communicated his willingness to sign a new contract.

Another meeting will go ahead with the player’s representatives over length of contract and wages, as well as signing-on fees and other bonuses.

There had been talk that the forward could leave at the end of the season for a move to the MLS where David Beckham’s Inter Miami have been strongly linked while a return to his beloved Barcelona had also been on the cards.

But Messi penning his future to PSG, for at least another year, will be yet another success for the club’s hierarchy, who fought hard to keep superstar Kylian Mbappe from leaving on a free transfer to Real Madrid in the summer.

Winning the Champions League remains PSG’s ultimate ambition but they have reached the final only once during the reign of Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who arrived in 2011.

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