Lionel Messi’s tenure at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) will come to an end this season, according to coach Christophe Galtier, who made the announcement on Thursday. Galtier stated that Messi’s last match at the Parc des Princes would be against Clermont on Saturday, as his contract with the club expires at the end of June.
Reflecting on his time coaching Messi, Galtier expressed his gratitude, saying, “I had the privilege of coaching the best player in the history of soccer. This will be his last match at the Parc des Princes, and I hope that he will receive the warmest of welcomes.”
When PSG acquired Messi in August 2021, their goal was to finally secure a Champions League victory. However, the team has yet to achieve that feat, despite winning their 11th French league title this year. PSG was once again eliminated from the top European tournament in the round of 16. Follow your favourite La Liga team with attractive football betting odds from Nextbet.
Messi’s experience in France has been a mixture of highs and lows. Despite posting respectable statistics, he has been seen as emblematic of the team’s shortcomings by many PSG fans, who have recently jeered and booed his name during matches.
Initially struggling to adapt to the French league, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner scored only six goals in his first 26 league games. However, Messi has shown improvement this season, developing a fruitful partnership with forward Kylian Mbappe. In 31 league matches, the 35-year-old Argentine has scored 16 goals and provided an equal number of assists. Across all competitions, Messi has netted 21 goals and contributed 20 assists for PSG.
Galtier expressed his appreciation for Messi’s contributions this year, stating, “He has been an important part of the team, always available and committed during training sessions. I don’t believe any of the comments or criticisms are warranted.”
Despite Galtier’s support, PSG’s reception of Messi hasn’t always been positive. Earlier in the season, the club suspended the World Cup winner for an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia. Messi has a commercial contract to promote tourism in Saudi Arabia and has been linked to a lucrative move there at the conclusion of the season.
Speculation has also arisen regarding Messi’s potential return to Barcelona, where he spent the majority of his illustrious career, or a move to the United States to play in Major League Soccer (MLS).
Messi joined Barcelona at the age of 13 and departed after winning 35 titles with the club. He played a pivotal role in Barcelona’s four Champions League victories, their ten Spanish league triumphs, seven Copa del Rey wins, and eight Spanish Super Cup conquests. Messi holds the record as Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer, with 672 goals in 778 appearances, and he is also the top scorer in the history of the Spanish league, having netted 474 goals in 520 matches. Get all the latest updates from the La Liga only on Nextbet Sports.