Reports indicate that PSG star Lionel Messi will quit the French champions when his contract expires at the conclusion of the season and instead join a team in Major League Soccer.
The 35-year-old player signed a two-year contract in Paris last summer after leaving his childhood club Barcelona due to severe financial difficulties. The Ligue 1 championship was Messi’s first in the league, and he helped lead a superb attack that included Kylian Mbappe and Neymar to victory in his first year.
Believe (opens in new tab)reports, however, that Messi does not wish to extend his stay at PSG beyond the 2022/23 season because he has not yet found a comfortable routine there. With the long-rumored move to MLS being on his mind, he will quit the team in the summer of 2019.
The president of Barcelona, Joan Laporta, has publicly announced his desire to bring Messi back to the club, sparking transfer rumors, but the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner isn’t particularly interested in a move back to Camp Nou.
According to the Catalan newspaper (link opens in new window), Messi is reluctant to return to Barcelona because of the continued presence of his former teammate Gerard Pique. According to rumors, Pique had some say in Barca’s decision to let Messi leave Camp Nou last year.
As a result of PSG’s announcement that Messi had tested positive for COVID-19, he missed two league games and one cup game. On January 23 he returned to league action against Reims, coming on as a second-half replacement and assisting on PSG’s third goal in a 4-0 home win.
Some PSG fans booed Messi and his teammate Neymar at the league match against Bordeaux on March 13 at the Parc des Princes after they were eliminated from the Champions League in the round of 16 by Real Madrid.
To assess Messi in such a way is unfair, former PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino said at the time, adding, “It was a year of learning, and not just on a professional level coming to Paris Saint-Germain, in a new league, and with new colleagues, but also on a familial level.”
After scoring from outside the box in a 1-1 home draw against Lens on April 23, he helped PSG win their 10th Ligue 1 title. As a rookie, Messi contributed 11 goals and 14 assists to his team’s total scoring. For the first time since 2005-06, he finished a league season with fewer than 10 goals.