Fanned Messi is on his way out at PSG, according to L’Équipe
According to France’s L’Équipe, Lionel Messi wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain after this season, prompted in part by his poor relationship with the crowd. The Argentine world star was rocketed off his pink World Cup cloud by Paris fans after the winter break.
For look and listen to what things were like Sunday at the Parc des Princes:
Messi was loudly booed by PSG supporters during the match against Olympique Lyonnais (0-1 loss) when he was about to take a corner. Not for the first time, because after the winter break it has been a frequent occurrence.
It fuels rumors of a Messi departure. And L’Équipe, meanwhile, is certain. “Messi and PSG’s paths will separate,” the newspaper headlines. His old club FC Barcelona would like to bring him back.
PSG is having a difficult season in the Ligue 1, in which the star ensemble has still not been able to distance itself from the competition. Number two Lens is on “only” six points after 26 games.
But what spoiled the atmosphere in Paris much more was the mudslinging PSG did in the Champions League eighth finals against Bayern Munich. Chance-less Messi and co were tapped out by Bayern, who did not even have to make a full effort to shake off PSG.
That hit rock bottom. Ever since the club was taken over by Qatari investors in 2011, PSG has been fanatically chasing Champions League wins. But it just won’t succeed.
Shortly after that painful elimination against Bayern, PSG’s hard core, the Collectif Ultras Paris, a statement out into the world. “Our club love is infinite, our patience is not.”
The arrows focus on Messi especially after the winter break. The dribble king propelled Argentina to World Cup wins and did so with complete abandon. And that is exactly what PSG fans want to see from him as well.
There was a feeling in Paris that Messi was giving everything for his country, but not for his employer. The sentiment: for an Argentina practice match against Curaçao, Messi is at his best, while for the clash against rival Lyon, he barely wanted to get out of bed.
Most effective after Haaland
That Messi is not as good as he was in his Barça period is obvious. And that it doesn’t all look as energetic what Messi is showing, no one will argue either. But the dry facts show that he is still really very important for PSG.
The most striking fact is that in the five biggest leagues (England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France) only Erling Haaland was involved in more goals. Manchester City’s goal monster scored 26 times and gave 5 assists.
Messi scored 13 times and prepared 13 goals. He thus keeps behind players such as Victor Osimhen (Napoli), teammate Neymar and Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur). Also in terms of dribbles and chances created, Messi still proves to be one of the best players in Europe.
That he did so only against the smallest clubs, as is often claimed, is not entirely accurate. Messi scored in the Ligue 1 against Lyon, Lille and Olympique Marseille, for example, and in the Champions League against Maccabi Haifa and Benfica. Only against Bayern was it really disappointing.
More balls taken away
What doesn’t help his image is that Messi doesn’t seem to exert himself excessively when the ball is lost. The videos of Messi lingering around the center spot while his teammates sprint to the back are familiar to most soccer followers.
But even there, it doesn’t seem all that bad. Messi is averaging 0.93 tackles per ninety minutes in the Ligue 1 this season, 0.68 of which are successful.
Both numbers are the highest number for the Argentine in a league season since 2009/2010, when in the heyday of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona he deployed 0.98 tackles per ninety minutes, of which 0.86 were successful.