Leo Messi in Paris, a commercial success, an oven on the sporting level and... "Two difficult years" for the main interested party. The 35-year-old world champion added this last part to the balance sheet of his time in the capital, in an interview with SPORT and Mundo Deportivo. Quite frankly, his words will not surprise anyone. But as he did not see fit to express himself in the French media during his two seasons under the colors of Paris, they slam all the more. And they confirm what we already knew: the transplant never took and the "Pulga" will have represented a casting error for Paris, a mistake of course for him. Moreover, the native of Rosario readily admits that he was forced to make "a hasty decision" during his forced departure from a Barça he has never stopped "loving". That's why he did not want to wait for the Catalan club to be in a position to recruit him this summer, and why he said yes to Miami: not to relive the situation of 2021 and, in hollow, to find himself in a similar situation in terms of choice.
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The Parisian leaders, who bent over backwards to sign him and offered him a considerable salary, at the risk of jeopardizing the club's situation in terms of financial fair play, will appreciate. "During those two years, I wasn't happy, I didn't have fun, and it affected my family life. I missed a lot of my children's lives at school. In Barcelona, I went to look for them, here, much less, I shared fewer activities with them. This is also why I make this decision, to find, in quotation marks, my family, my children, and enjoy everyday life, "says the seven-time Ballon d'Or, who leaves with "mixed feelings". And who forgets to say that he may not have done everything to feel at home in Paris...
Two years in prison?
If he admits that he felt "very, very good, very comfortable in the club, in the city, with my family" during the first six months of the 2022-23 season, after a first year "difficult", and that his children finally "adapted" to Paris, Messi expected "a different end. But hey, it's been two years, which, in general, have been difficult for me, they are behind me." And no one will complain about it, neither him, nor the fans who whistled him again last Saturday, during the ceremony of awarding the trophy of champion of France. Listening to him, Leo Messi spent the last two years of his life in prison. A little strong coffee, even if we can understand that he went through complicated moments after having to leave a cocoon in which he had been evolving for more than 20 years, a life. To say that Messi lacks elegance costs us. We know the player he is, his place in the history of football. We can only regret that he came to waste his time and that of the Paris-SG, even if the main culprits are in the offices of the Factory and especially in Doha, where we let ourselves be lulled by illusions by putting the grapple on him, two years ago.
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Beyond the questions of collective balance induced by his presence on the field, with Kylian Mbappé who defends no more than him, Messi was simply too marked by FC Barcelona to fully embrace the Parisian experience. "Beyond the fact that the love is still there and reciprocated, it was a strange feeling to hear it at Camp Nou and not be there," he said of chants to his glory heard in Barcelona in recent weeks. In Paris, there has never been love. Long live King Messi, away from Paris. Far from Barcelona too, and the management of the Catalan club takes as expensive, if not more, than PSG in this famous interview...