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'I'm not sure the Parisians want that' - Lionel Messi not planning to present eighth Ballon d'Or at Parc des Princes as Inter Miami superstar admits his time at PSG 'didn't go as I'd hoped'

  • Messi won eighth Ballon d'Or on Monday
  • Jokes PSG wouldn't want him parading it
  • Relationship with the club & fans soured

WHAT HAPPENED? Messi admitted after winning his record-extending eighth Ballon d'Or that, although he and his family enjoyed living in the French capital, in the end, his time at Paris Saint-Germain from a sporting perspective didn't go to plan.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I'm not sure the Parisians want that I present the Ballon d'Or to the Parc [des Princes]," he said at a press conference after the 2023 ceremony in Paris. "My time in Paris did not go as I hoped for different reasons. I lived for two years in Paris and I have very good friends there, I have enjoyed the city a lot. My sons really enjoyed it and it cost them a lot to leave Paris because they didn't want to move yet and they wanted to stay in their school and with their friends. It's an incredible city that I had the chance to live in for a bit. From a sporting point of view, it didn't go as I hoped but I keep in mind all the good things that I have lived, and there have also been many."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi joined PSG in the summer of 2021 after he was forced to leave Barcelona upon the expiration of his contract. He enjoyed a much better second season after initially struggling to settle at Parc des Princes, but his relationship with the club and fans soured, to the point where supporters were booing the superstar in the closing weeks of the 2022-23 campaign. Messi, who has also criticised PSG for not acknowledging his World Cup win with Argentina in December, opted against a new contract in Paris and took his career to Inter Miami in MLS instead.

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WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI? Inter Miami's 2023 season came to an end on October 21 after they failed to reach the MLS playoffs. But the club has planned two friendlies in China against local sides in November, after which Messi will have the opportunity for some time off until 2024.