Messi will try to return to Barcelona. He has two goals and a string of disappointments in Ligue 1
From each according to his ability is an ancient slogan, but there’s an extension. “To each according to his needs.” Messi is so strong as a footballer that it’s fair to criticize him more harshly than others. The same rule applies to Ronaldo. But there is a difference. Cristiano has not financially destroyed Real Madrid, Juventus, or Manchester United now. He is an outstanding athlete, but not an icon – even in Madrid he was treated differently at certain stages of his career.
Messi, on the other hand, was elevated to the status of a soccer deity by the Barcelona fans. In the end, his father signed with the inept manager Bartomeu, a contract that still affects the state of the club – as soon as some of the debts are distributed, the newcomers will want wild contracts again. One of them is currently being negotiated with Dembele’s representatives. Messi can be criticized not only for his soccer, because he didn’t have the courage to leave Barcelona in time, which also hurt the club strategically.
Paolo Di Canio is right – you cannot live in the past. In the present, Messi is having a season in France with 7 goals by the end of March at the PSG base. After 25 games played in such a team, even Artem Dzyuba would get his nuts after scoring seven goals. Even ten goal assists in Ligue 1 does not save the situation, as Lionel does not lead the game. The bright Mbappe provides the goals, PSG’s dispatcher in good matches remains Verratti, who has 88 passes per game on average with 91% accuracy. Pochettino’s defense comes through Klimpembe and Marchinhos, and even Paredes is seen with the ball more often.
Two goals in 18 Farmers League games for the legendary Messi is the worst result of his career. And such drops hurt those who are used to dominate automatically. Lionel, after all, has not plowed the most for years, he is a national player, saving his strength, walking on foot. It seemed that at the new club he should make a breakthrough, but the energy was not there. He didn’t like everything in France. The methods of work of the defenders of the Ligue 1 clubs – he was more comfortable playing in Spain, the weather – it seems to be a ridiculous argument, but it affects people even physiologically.
It’s not only Mbappe who is “fed up” with everything that happens at PSG.
We remember the behavior of the president of the Parisians after the departure from the Champions League, there will be an investigation, because the Qatari pounced on the referees. We read Leonardo’s traditional defiant public statements. There have also been non-public, but available to the public after-the-fact scandals – Tuchel does not hide the name of the man who drove him out of PSG. The level of management is such that when it comes to Pochettino, he was credited with wanting to leave faster back in the fall.
Recall that Mauricio played for the Parisians during the time of Ronaldinho, but then the results were much worse and the unity in the team was seen more. PSG couldn’t handle the pressure of the scale of what was going on. With a squad like this, they should go to the semifinals of the Champions League every year. Instead, they play against Golovin, Ben-Yedder and Volland with the main squad, but without Messi, and get 3-0. And the tragedy for Lionel is that such a score could have been seen with him on the field. The Argentine has stopped making the difference.
Mbappe has been trying to drag all season, but after the departure from Real Madrid he needs to focus on his physical and emotional state. It is important for Kylian to fit into a new team, which also needs a change, but Messi will be much more difficult, as he and the Frenchman have a significant difference. Lionel is eleven years older, he cannot say to Di Maria in a conversation that “he’s sick of everything,” and then leave for a new club, where they have been waiting for him for a long time. The way back – from the favorite team to the money-bag, where they were ready to quench financial appetites, has already been made.
And PSG will also find it difficult to squeeze the maximum out of Messi even in the new season, if Lionel does not get a cool new coach, if there is no revaluation of the squad – not only about the parting with Ramos one should think, if they do not sign an incredible central striker. The Sheiks aren’t experts at building something from scratch, they have billions from birth. Right now, the option of signing Ronaldo at PSG is closer to reality than a Zidane-led revolution. If only because Zinedine himself did not pull the rebuilding at Real Madrid, where everything is better organized.
Barcelona fans need to fear Messi’s return
The idea of getting back together with a woman you divorced after decades of marriage will always be stupid, regardless of motivation. A rotten apple may give the world a new apple tree, but it is not fit to eat. Don’t forget how Messi leaves Barcelona. Claimed to have tried to leave the team the year before, but they wouldn’t let him go. The man did not believe in the Catalan project. Not without reason, because Bartomeu has made many mistakes.
At the same time, Messi’s most loyal fans preferred to believe the fairy tale, as if the club’s lawyers do not know the laws of Spain – they had no right to cut Lionel’s salary by more than half. Rather, the case was somewhat different. Messi knew long before the announcement of the parting that he would leave. He was actively looking for a new club. Manchester City rejected him, although they tried to get Ronaldo later. Guardiola thinks in terms of soccer, it is quite difficult to fit Messi into a game system that was not originally designed for him.
Alves has returned to Barcelona, Busquets remains – he’s playing better than he did in his worst crisis period, Obameyang is the new Luis Suarez. The youth is growing, and it is clear that Pedri could in theory become the new Iniesta for the great and terrible Lionel Messi, returned from Paris. Players of that caliber can’t always play so lousy, so even the Argentine’s improved scoring numbers won’t be a surprise. Except that there are two serious counterarguments.
The first is money, Messi will not agree to play for a symbolic fee, like Alves. And the second one is that Xavi does not need a person whose authority will be equal to that of a mentor. Moreover, team veterans like Pique, Alba or Busquets have hardly forgotten how they had to take serious pay cuts, since Jorge Messi colluded with Josep Bartomeu a couple of years ago and signed an insane contract. It’s like with the Neymar transfer – 222 million euros spent quickly and mediocrely, the money did not bring happiness.
But last summer PSG, on the contrary, made a gift to Barcelona, because Messi could degenerate in terms of play for his home club, and his legacy suffered even more because of that. So you can write it all off to the new teammates, or the mess of Leonardo and Pochettino’s name. I don’t want Messi to freak out and leave for the US in the summer, let him wait for Zidane and make one last push. That’s just the point. For Lionel, every next Champions League season could be his last.
Talk of a comeback is dangerous for Xavi’s Barcelona. Messi cannot be just an average veteran who comes off the bench from time to time to end his career not to the whistle, but to applause.