This is no longer really a surprise, it just registers the end point of a story whose last lines have been anything but joyful. Lionel Messi and Paris Saint-Germain, it's officially over, the club announced this Saturday in the early evening, less than two hours before the last match of the season against Clermont at the Park, in a statement published on its official website.
"After two seasons spent in the capital, the adventure between Leo Messi and Paris Saint-Germain will end at the end of the 2022-23 financial year," writes the club, which "wishes to warmly thank the seven-time Ballon d'Or, winner under the colors of Red & Blue of a Trophy of Champions and two titles of champion of France". "Paris Saint-Germain is proud to have had the best player in history, and wishes Leo many more success for the rest of his career."
🔴🔵 #MerciMessi pic.twitter.com/Z3pjgH9f9Z
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_inside) June 3, 2023
"I want to thank Leo Messi for his two seasons in Paris," said Nasser Al Khelaifi, also quoted on the club's website. Seeing a seven-time Ballon d'Or winner in Rouge & Bleu and at the Parc des Princes, winning back-to-back France championships and inspiring our young players has been a pleasure. His contribution to Paris Saint-Germain and Ligue 1 cannot be underestimated and we wish Leo and his family all the best for the future. »
"I really enjoyed playing in this team and with such good players"
The track of an officialization this Saturday of the departure of the Argentine had made its way in the afternoon, when words were attributed to him had first been relayed in a tweet by ESPN Argentina, published and then immediately deleted, after being nevertheless seen more than 30,000 times. "I am very happy to have been able to represent PSG," he told the Argentine media. I really enjoyed playing in this team and with such good players. I would like to thank the club for this wonderful experience in Paris. »
In the club's statement, Messi offers a more modest statement. "Thank you to the club, the city of Paris and its inhabitants for these two years. I wish them all the best for the future. A sober statement, in all discretion, for a player whose history in Paris has been just as much despite his immense pedigree. Discreet off the field but also, most of the time, on it, Leo Messi had nevertheless arrived in the summer of 2021 in a general euphoria after his very emotional departure from FC Barcelona.
In two seasons in Paris, he had the opportunity to take care of his statistics despite sawtooth performances: 32 goals and 35 assists in 74 games in all competitions. Will have lacked, all the same, an expected influence during the cup matches in the European Cup. At the end of last season as in recent weeks, he was attacked by part of the public of the Parc des Princes, who saw in him the symbol of the failures of the club.