- Messi's PSG future unclear
- Rothen says move has not been a success
- And Messi feels orphaned by Barca
WHAT HAPPENED? Messi made the shock move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2021 after previously spending his entire senior career at Barcelona, who were unable to tie him down to a new contract due to La Liga's wage limits. Messi has not been able to consistently produce his best level at PSG, and his future at the club is unclear as his contract expires at the end of the season. Rothen has not been impressed by the World Cup winner's contribution at Parc des Princes and has suggested that he is still suffering mentally from his exit at Camp Nou.
WHAT THEY SAID: "Lionel Messi has been an anomaly since he arrived. It's hard to talk like that about such a player who has marked the history of football so much," the former PSG star told RMC Sport. "But that's the reality unfortunately in relation to his investment and in relation to his performance. Quite simply. He can't get through the course, for many reasons. Most certainly he feels a bit orphaned by Barcelona.
"Even if he says that in his life today it has improved, you can't see it on the pitch. It can't be seen, there's no particular fulfilment on the pitch apart from maybe the free kick at the last second against Lille. I'm totally in the direction of the club today. Luis Campos must take responsibility, admit that the arrival of Lionel Messi was not necessarily a good thing and that it was a failure."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi has improved in his second season at PSG following an underwhelming debut campaign. The Argentina international has 16 goals and 14 assists to his name from 27 appearances across all competitions this term, including a last-gasp winner against Lille last time out. Messi jetted off to Barcelona after the game as PSG boss Christophe Galtier granted the squad some time off, and was spotted catching up with former team-mates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.
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DID YOU KNOW? Messi, who is one goal away from reaching 700 career club goals, has played four games against Marseille in all competitions without finding the net. Only against Inter and Rubin Kazan has the Argentine forward played so often without ever managing to score.
WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI? PSG and Messi face a crunch Ligue 1 clash against second-placed Marseille on Sunday at the Stade Velodrome.