Three small goals and no assist. Silent in Ligue 1. Here are the sad statistics of Lionel Messi since he joined PSG. However, in a French championship that is akin to the one that La Pulga knew during his long stay in Barcelona, many expected Messi to prance at the top of the scorers’ standings with his teammate Kylian Mbappé . But there, Mbappé is not even in the top 10 and Messi is not even in the ranking at all. Even in that of the assists, no trace of the Argentine.
What explains this mishap, Lionel Messi detailed it in the columns of the Catalan daily Sport. He talks about his acclimatization in the French capital, his level of play, the national team and his future.
First of all, Lionel Messi clarified that he had experienced a very painful move. Leaving Barcelona was a heartbreak for the now N.30 Paris-Saint-Germain. For him, leaving Catalonia was a huge upheaval: “In Castelldefels (Editor’s note: village near Barcelona where they lived), we weren’t used to that. We had everything close at hand, nearby. I went to pick up the children from school, I returned, I I worked out, I came home to eat, I went to pick up the children. Today, I cannot afford to pick up the children from school and go to train. Because of the weather. Personally. , I like to stay at home. In Barcelona I didn’t go out so much. For the kids and Antonella it was the biggest change as they lived on the streets, with friends, doing things. Boyfriends used to come home all the time. Now they make friends and adjust to the city “, he confides to our colleagues Spaniards that he reassures all the same. Now this period is being digested within the Messi family. “Being in a hotel for a month and a half is not easy to do with the children, who had already started school. We were in the center and that made the traffic unbearable. We needed an hour. for school and an hour for training. The children couldn’t stand being in the hotel anymore. It was difficult. At the same time, we tried to enjoy the experience, the city, to learn getting to know everything a bit until we got home. It just made everything better. ”
He also returned to his controversial departure from Barca. “I did my best to stay. Never, at any time, was I asked to play for free. I was asked to lower my salary by fifty percent and I did so without any problem. We were willing to help the club more. My desire and that of my family was to stay in Barcelona. “
In sporting terms, Messi admitted that he was still in the process of breaking in. After all, he has only played 8 games in two months. He was notably prevented from playing in the aftermath of international selection. Because of the rules related to the coronavirus epidemic that are in force, players from America had to observe a quarantine after trips to Europe. From then on, it deprived Messi of playing. Add to that the matches where he was not physically ready or bothered by a bruise, and you will get the total of six games missed with the gang at Neymar and Mbappé. “You don’t get used to having to leave and that makes things more difficult, but little by little I’m getting used to the dynamics of the club because even though I’ve been here for two months, I haven’t played yet. a lot of games. I’m still getting used to things “, he continued.
“Candidate for the Champions League”
What is more, the poorer performances of the six-time Ballon d’Or can no doubt also be explained in the acclimatization to the French championship, significantly different from La Liga. “It’s a more physical championship. The players are strong and fast and it’s less focused on the game. The meetings are tough and it often goes from goal to goal.”, explains the one who was used to the technical game of the Spanish championship, where the conservation of the ball was much more frequent to see than the direct game that we know in France.
On the European scene, PSG is one of the favorites to try to lift the Cup with big ears. “Like Manchester, City, Bayern, Liverpool, Atlético Madrid, Chelsea, or others, we are one of the candidates. The best team doesn’t always win as it depends on a lot of details or circumstances. Everything can happen”, he still confides.
“I live day by day”
When Sport journalists asked Messi about his future in the national team after the 2022 World Cup, he replied that he would see and that no decision had been made. “After what happened to me, I live day by day, year after year. I don’t know what will happen at the World Cup or after the World Cup. I don’t think about it. will happen at that time will happen “, he concludes by adding that after his career, he will integrate the management of FC Barcelona. “I’ve always said I wish I could help the club in any way I can and help the club run well. I would like to be technical secretary at some point.”
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“Painful move”, “Still getting used to”, Lionel Messi takes stock after his first two months at PSG