Lionel Messi’s highly anticipated arrival at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) brought with it immense expectations of Champions League triumph.
However, Touchaheart News reports that after two years, Messi’s time in France can hardly be deemed a resounding success.
While his move to PSG boosted his chances of achieving the pinnacle of his career at the previous year’s World Cup, it did little to propel the Qatari-owned club closer to European glory.
In this article, we explore the underwhelming results of Messi’s tenure at PSG and why it may be time for both him and the club to seek new beginnings.
Upon his unveiling in August 2021, Lionel Messi voiced his dream of clinching his fifth Champions League title and expressed confidence in PSG being the ideal platform to accomplish it.
This declaration resonated with PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi and the fans, who yearned to witness their team’s first European triumph.
After previous losses in the semifinals and the final, Messi seemed like the missing piece that could help PSG conquer the continental competition.
Regression with Messi:
Regrettably, PSG’s performances have regressed during Messi’s tenure. Last season, they were eliminated in the Champions League last 16 by Real Madrid under Mauricio Pochettino’s leadership.
This year, Bayern Munich repeated the feat with Christophe Galtier on the touchline. The absence of a push from Pep Guardiola, who has often lauded Messi as the greatest player of all time. To bring an aging Messi to Manchester City raises questions about the Argentine’s ability to contribute at the highest level.
Guardiola’s side has reached this season’s Champions League final, surpassing PSG’s current capabilities, despite having Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar in their ranks.
The Balancing Act:
Accommodating three attacking superstars in the same team has weakened PSG’s overall cohesion. As Messi turns 36 this month, the club faces the challenge of constructing a more balanced squad without him.
His hefty estimated annual salary of 30 million euros ($32.1 million) after tax further adds to the financial burden.
Moreover, Touchaheart News reports that the incident where Messi faced jeering from supporters at the Parc des Princes. And his subsequent unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia, resulting in a one-week suspension, strained his relationship with the club. It became evident that there was no prospect of Messi signing a new contract with PSG.
Mixed Performances and Personal Milestones:
Although Messi initially struggled to settle in his first season, he gradually found his footing and developed a productive partnership with Mbappe. Acknowledging Mbappe as the team’s focal point, Messi contributed 16 goals and an impressive 16 assists in Ligue 1 this season, leading the league in assists. While he added two Ligue 1 title winner’s medals to his collection, the French league may not hold significant importance for Messi when reflecting on his illustrious career.
Reflections and Departure:
Critics have contended that PSG did not witness substantial improvement due to Messi’s presence, and his commitment to playing in Ligue 1 appeared lukewarm at times. Nevertheless, Messi’s impact on his teammates and opponents cannot be overlooked. Despite missing out on the French player of the year award, his contributions earned him nominations and praise from those who have had the privilege of working with him. Galtier, in particular, expressed his gratitude for accompanying Messi throughout the season. Now, both Messi and PSG stand at a crossroads, signaling the need for change and the pursuit of fresh challenges.
Lionel Messi’s stint at PSG did not deliver the anticipated Champions League success. While
his individual performances had their moments of brilliance, PSG as a team did not experience the desired improvement. The time has come for Messi and PSG to part ways and embark on new journeys. As Messi enters the later stages of his career, he will seek new opportunities to leave his mark on the football world. Likewise, PSG must redefine their strategy and build a more balanced squad capable of achieving their European ambitions.