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Messi at PSG: two years of doubts and below expectations

Messi at PSG: two years of doubts and below expectations

The suspension of Lionel Messi by Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) seems to seal the disappointing passage of the Argentine star in the French capital, where for two seasons he shone intermittently, even being booed by the fans in the Parc des Princes.

The decision taken on Tuesday by the club to suspend the Argentine for “several days” for having traveled to Saudi Arabia without authorization marks probably the end of his history with PSG. Will Messi be seen again in a Ligue 1 game once his departure from the club seems consummated?

During the time away, the seven-time Golden Ball, who did not attend last Monday’s training session without the approval of the board, “cannot train, cannot play and will not receive” his salary, according to a source close to the case. Several media outlets have stated that the suspension is for two weeks, a duration that PSG preferred not to confirm this Wednesday.

In Argentina, the press received the punishment with relative surprise and skepticism.

The newspaper Olé considers it “too rigorous (…) because it is the best in the world, with exemplary conduct in his career, in the selection, in Barcelona and now in PSG”.

For its part, Clarín claims that the trip to Saudi Arabia was “the last straw that overflowed the cup of discord, which has been filled with different topics since Messi arrived at PSG in 2021”, and regrets that now the player seems to be leaving the club “through the back door”.

Fans of Paris Saint-Germain protested last Monday at the Camp des Loges training center, after the defeat to Lorient (3-1), and this Wednesday they gathered in front of the club’s headquarters to show their displeasure .

“We are fed up with mercenaries!”, “We have to expel Messi!”, “We have to expel Nasser (Al Khelaifi, PSG president)!”, were some of the most heard cries in the protests.

Long post-World Cup hangover

Idolized in Argentina after winning the World Cup in Qatar, Messi, who will turn 36 in June, showed a different face in Paris.

As PSG accumulated poor results in the season, the player seemed less and less involved in the team’s games, walking on the lawn, without showing intensity. Not even his flashes of genius excited the crowd.

With Messi, the club looked set to finally take a step forward in the European Champions League. However, the team fell for two years in a row in the round of 16.

Like other teammates, the Argentine had a discreet performance in the knockout duel against Bayern Munich in March.

Since the resumption of the season after the World Cup, PSG have been knocked out of the Champions League, French Cup by Olympique Marseille and suffered disappointing defeats in Ligue 1 to Rennes, Lyon and Lorient.

These bad results coincided with Messi’s worst moment of the game: he had the lowest number of shots, with the worst aim, and had fewer actions with the ball, mainly in the vicinity of the area.

Before the World Cup, Messi had 12 goals and 14 assists in 19 games. Currently, in the 33rd round, he has 15 goals and 15 decisive passes.

Even so, the playmaker had good, albeit rare, moments with PSG, such as the goal he scored against Manchester City in 2021 and the last-second free kick against Lille on February 19 (4-3), in a game in which he was not a protagonist. A good summary of his irregularity in the French capital.

Sporting or commercial performance?

Last season was no better given the team’s results. Despite the French title, the team was eliminated in the round of 16 of the Champions League and the French Cup.

From a political and marketing point of view, Messi’s adventure at PSG was more profitable for the club’s image abroad, especially in Asia.

The arrival of the Argentine star attracted numerous new sponsors and generated profitable operations for the club, which gained greater visibility in the world.

Shirt sales, advertising contracts, broadcast revenues and the increase in ticket prices for matches multiplied PSG’s revenue. But is it a financial or sporting issue? the latest events

Source: Gazetaesportiva

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