Lionel Messi didn’t seem massively happy about signing for PSG, and the sentiment seems to be very much mutual.
Every man and his dog knew Messi would prefer to stay in Barcelona than go back to Paris in 2021, his tearful farewell press conference in Spain made it abundantly clear.
However, there was a feeling he could find happiness at his new club, leading them to Champions League glory and becoming a hero to the Parc des Princes faithful in the process.
However almost two years later, with both success and support in short supply for Argentina, that dream looks more than likely to become reality.
There was a lot of talk going into the match against Rance messi Reports of unhappiness at the club are emerging after he refused to attend a training session and held a meeting with Barcelona president Joan Laporta to rule out the possibility of a return to the Camp Nou.
Clearly PSG fans had read such reports, as his name was met with a few boos when read by the stadium announcer as he ran through the starting XI before kick-off.
They were already somewhat unhappy with the man they hoped would establish them as one of the best clubs in the world after their defeat at Bayern Munich. Champions League Round of 16, and talk of him not being fully invested only added fuel to the flames.
It was unclear whether the 35-year-old paid attention to the boos, but he played like a man who does when his team deserves it. lost 2-0,
He was still the home team’s best player – not that that’s saying how poor his team-mates were – but he never got out of second gear, instead just going along with an air of indifference. .
Although he made some excellent passes at the end, created some chances, he often lazily passed the ball to someone else after receiving it, it seemed that he could not be bothered to do anything else.
Throughout the game, despite the fact that he saw a great amount of the ball and often had space in front of him, he only attempted five dribbles, 10. fewer Much as he did in PSG’s last home game.
He also took three low shots, and when the last of them flew over the bar in the closing stages of the final, it became clear that his fans were now more unhappy with him than at the start of the match, with his effort a few hours away. Louder than any voices heard before.
There was never any doubt as to whether Messi had heard it or not, as after the full-time whistle most of his team-mates, including Kylian Mbappe, apologised, and the home crowd applauded, as he headed straight into the tunnel.
Messi has never connected with supporters as much as he did with Barcelona, but things have never been this bad before, even after the backlash in response to the team being kicked out of the first leg lead against Real Madrid last year Too.
The result comes at a point when both he and the club are deciding whether to prolong his time there as his current contract expires at the end of the season.
It has always been assumed that the Ligue 1 champions would hold onto him if possible, but with fans clamoring for him and Mbappe to reportedly become star men, they may well start to reconsider.
Ultimately though, it may not matter what the club choose to do, as it is becoming increasingly unlikely that it will want to stay beyond the current campaign.
Where he will go is unclear given Barcelona’s financial issues, but one thing is clear: the French connection is all but gone.