Lionel Messi slammed after his private jet made 52 trips in three months, releasing 150 years' worth of CO2
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Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi has been slammed after it emerged his private jet took 52 trips in just three months.
Messi leases a £12m luxury jet for his travels around the world and often makes it available to his family and friends.
The 35-year-old, who recently returned to PSG after representing his country Argentina on their tour of the United States, has been slammed over his carbon footprint by the French media.
It has been revealed by L'Equipe that Messi's private plane made 52 trips totalling 368 hours between June and August of this year.
These trips produced 1,502 tons of CO2, the same amount an average French person would emit in 150 years.
The use of private jets in French football has come under the spotlight in recent weeks after PSG head coach Christophe Galtier dismissed a question about his side's use of the form of transport to away games.
After being asked why PSG travelled by private jet to an away match against Nantes, which is only two hours away by train, Galtier joked that team were exploring the option of travelling by "sand yacht", prompting a laugh from Kylian Mbappe who was sat beside him.
Galtier's comments attracted criticism in France, with the PSG boss forced to offer an apology.
"I regret it, these days you can't have a laugh. It was a joke at the wrong time. But believe me I am concerned about the planet's problems,” said Galtier, as reported by Get French Football News.
"I know the responsibility we have. I've heard that we're disconnected, that's not the case. The joke was in bad taste. But to turn it into a scandal and makes us look like something we're not.
"My players care a lot about the climate, the club cares a lot about that. We went to Lille by bus. We're aware of what's at stake.
Lionel Messi's private jet made 52 trips over 3 months, emitting 1,502 tons of CO2 - the same impact as an average French person over 150 years. (L'Éq)https://t.co/r5h5BZqPFP— Get French Football News (@GFFN) September 30, 2022
"Obviously I regret it, but I think it's difficult to have a laugh in France. Even if my joke wasn't great and I quickly realised it when I got home."
According to Get French Football News, virtually all of away travel by Ligue 1 sides is done using private jets, with PSG among the worst offenders in the 2021-22 campaign.
Montpellier used private planes the least, travelling by coach to seven of their away matches last season.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy & Instagram/LeoMessi
Topics: Lionel Messi, Paris Saint-Germain, Ligue 1, Football