As the squads were named before PSG’s home game against Lyon on Sunday at the Parc des Princes, some supporters booed Messi’s name. The Argentine then put on a lackluster performance as his team suffered their second straight home defeat in Ligue 1—1-0 loss to mid-table opponents.
With nine games remaining, PSG’s lead over Lens and Marseille at the top of the league has shrunk to six points, slowing their apparent march towards a record 11th French title and a ninth in 12 seasons under Qatari ownership. PSG must work hard to win the local championship as the top clubs in Europe get ready for the quarterfinals of the Champions League this month. They are playing for nothing else now.
After Sunday’s match, PSG’s eighth loss in 18 games in 2023, coach Christophe Galtier said, “We must show a reaction of champions,” PSG’s next game is away to a Nice team that hasn’t lost since early January, which represents their worst start to a calendar year since 2001.
Vincent Duluc stated in the sports daily L’Equipe, “Every spring, after their elimination from the Champions League, the Parisian players display their lack of interest for all things Ligue 1 and make you doubt that the Parc des Princes is their favourite place to spend an evening in Paris,” The background of Qatar’s interest in Manchester United, which has raised concerns about the Gulf state’s long-term commitment, is one difference at PSG this season.
Only a few months after Messi capped his career by leading Argentina to victory at the World Cup, jeering him may sound ludicrous. Nonetheless, other supporters view him as a representation of everything the club has done incorrectly in relying on superstar acquisitions while failing to assemble a true contender.
According to L’Equipe, Messi’s excessive wandering on the field and apparent lack of effort are some of the reasons fans boo him.
However, research by statista.com revealed that during the recent World Cup Messi covered more than 14 kilometers at walking pace just during Argentina’s three group games. Messi has long appeared to run less than most other players on the field. Messi’s age is the issue; not his ability to walk. When his contract expires in June after two years in Paris, he will be 36.
PSG must consider if it makes sense to keep a veteran player whose earnings total about 40 million euros annually at a time when the team must adhere to UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations.
Messi’s thoughts may already be elsewhere given that Barcelona is actively recruiting its former No. 10 player. Rafael Yuste, a vice president at Barcelona, said last week that there had been “I would love it if he returned,” with the player.
PSG’s sporting director, Luis Campos, is currently considering how to assemble a Mbappe-centered squad that will be capable of finally winning the Champions League next year. There is no indication that PSG will consider offers for Mbappe this season, but after a disappointing first season in charge, Galtier’s future is very much in doubt.
Laurent Blanc, the Lyon coach who oversaw PSG from 2013 to 2016, said of the challenge facing Galtier, “The problem in Paris is that once the main objective is no longer reachable, everyone says the season is finished,” Galtier is currently still employed by Paris, despite the fact that top teams like Bayern Munich, Chelsea, and Tottenham have all recently fired their managers.