Superstar Lionel Messi was unable to help PSG win the Champions League they had hoped for in two years. Now he did not renew his contract.
Paris – His departure had already become apparent in recent weeks, but now it's official: Lionel Messi will not renew his expiring contract and will leave Paris Saint-Germain in the summer. This was confirmed by his coach Christophe Galtier on Thursday at the press conference ahead of Messi's last game for PSG. It is still unclear where the Argentinian will go now – but the trail leads to Saudi Arabia.
|Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccitini|
|Born:||June 24, 1987 (aged 35 years), Rosario, Argentina|
|Position:||Right winger, centre-forward, hanging top|
|Paris Saint-Germain's record so far:||74 competitive games, including 32 goals and 35 assists|
|Market value:||45 million euros (source: transfermarkt.de)|
PSG lose the "best player in football history" with Messi, according to coach Galtier
PSG coach Christophe Galtier made Messi's departure official at the press conference ahead of the Parisians' final league match against Clermont Foot – and raved about the world champion in the highest tones: "I had the privilege of coaching the best player in football history," said the 56-year-old.
"Saturday's game will be his last at the Parc (des Princes, ed.) be." Galtier also explicitly addressed the PSG fans, who had recently shown massive displeasure towards Messi after his spontaneous trip to Saudi Arabia: "I hope that he will be received in the best possible way," said the French coach for a dignified farewell for Messi in the last home game.
Lionel Messi will leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season. It is not yet clear where he will go. © Imago / Le Pictorium
Criticism of outgoing PSG star Messi 'not justified' for coach Galtier
"Many things have been said about Leo," Galtier said. "This year he was an important part of the team, always available," added the 56-year-old PSG coach. He found the criticism of Messi "not justified at all."
Rather, the seven-time World Player of the Year "always put himself at the service of the team," emphasized his coach. Especially in his debut year in the French capital, Messi had struggled at times. "I'm not going to talk about his first season where he had to adapt. It was his first time outside Barcelona," Galtier said sympathetically. It was "a great privilege" for the coach, who himself joined PSG last summer, to accompany the world champion "throughout the season."
Messi will leave PSG on a free transfer
Messi arrived on a free transfer in 2021 to the great enthusiasm of Parisian fans and bosses from FC Barcelona. Since then, he has made 74 competitive appearances for PSG and won two French championships. He scored 32 goals and set up 35 goals. However, he was unable to help the star ensemble, which includes Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, to the long-awaited Champions League triumph.
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
So, after the match against Clermont, Messi will leave PSG. His contract is coming to an end, so he is back on the market for free. It is still unclear where he is going. However, there are growing signs that Messi will play for a record salary in Saudi Arabia in the future. (wuc)