Lionel Messi at PSG, two years of a great illusion

Paris may be known as the city of love, but the relationship between Lionel Messi and the capital’s football club was not very passionate. After two seasons in the French league, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is about to expire his contract with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), at the end of the 2022-2023 financial year. The game of 38And The matchday in Ligue 1 against Clermont, on Saturday 3 June, at 9 pm, in the Parc des Princes, will be the last with PSG, as confirmed by his coach, Christophe Galtier, on Thursday 1um June. The club has decided not to extend the commitment of the Argentine world champion. The trace that the latter will leave in Paris will be that of a football genius in decline. His passing also symbolizes the bankruptcy of a company that confuses sports politics and marketing.

The definitive break with Messi probably dates back to May 2nd. That day, the Parisian management decided to suspend their striker due to a trip to Saudi Arabia made without the club’s agreement. The day before, after a bitter home defeat against Lorient (1-3) in Ligue 1, Messi had skipped training, preferring to fly to Riyadh to promote the Saudi Arabian tourist office. neighbor and rival of Qatar, owner of the club. On May 8, three days after apologizing to his teammates and the Paris club on social media, the soon-to-be 36-year-old Messi returned to training.

Read also: Lionel Messi apologizes to PSG for trip to Saudi Arabia and “wait for the club’s decision”

If the brief suspension – less than a week – of the native of Rosario had then confirmed the trend – a non-renewal of his contract in Paris – the reason for the divorce is deeper. Beyond this episode, the two seasons of the superstar with a huge contract (over 30 million euros net, excluding bonuses) coincided with PSG’s collective failures on the European scene.

“The biggest transfer window in the history of world football”

However, in the summer of 2021, when other big names joined Messi’s signing in Paris (Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum, Achraf Hakimi…), PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaïfi was proud of have achieved “the biggest transfer window in the history of world football”. At the time, hundreds of fans had even raised their feet at Le Bourget airport (Seine-Saint-Denis) or in front of the Parc des Princes to welcome the Argentine phenomenon, who had not been able to extend his contract at FC Barcelona , financially dried up.

On paper, the attacking trio Messi-Mbappé-Neymar seemed formidable, but the two coaches who have succeeded one another at the helm of the Parisian team, the Argentinean Mauricio Pochettino then the Frenchman Christophe Galtier, have not failed to transform this sum of individuals into a collective performance over time: the recurring evil of PSG.

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