- South American's contract running down
- Return to Camp Nou speculated on
- Intends to grace next World Cup finals
WHAT HAPPENED? The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner continues to run down his contract at Parc des Princes, with free agency set to be hit this summer if no fresh terms are agreed. PSG remain keen on putting an extension in place, and 1978 World Cup winner Kempes – who saw Messi emulate those efforts when capturing a global crown at Qatar 2022 – believes remaining in France would leave the all-time great better prepared for another World Cup bid in 2026.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Kempes has told TyC Sports, with Messi competing for domestic and Champions League prizes with PSG: “If he wants to play in the next World Cup, he will stay very well in France. For the Champions League, it is costing him a bit. At PSG, in three years, he will be perfect. We will also see him in the qualifiers. Little by little, we will see Messi’s physical rhythm. There is one thing in which Messi beats everyone: he runs when he has to run. It’s not that he runs to vice. No. If he continues with this winning mentality, it will be like that. He will not arrive like now in 2022, but with his left foot he has one hand and can put it anywhere.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: While Messi is being advised to sign a new deal in Paris, questions continue to be asked of how committed he is to the PSG cause. With that in mind, there have been suggestions that he could retrace steps to Camp Nou – if Barca can find the funds required to do a deal – or take on a new challenge in MLS or the Middle East.
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty
WHAT NEXT? Messi has, having initially hinted at international retirement after the 2022 World Cup, stated that he will be prolonging his record-breaking career with the Argentine national team through to another global gathering in 2026 that will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico.