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Messi makes things happen

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Lionel Messi had a very unique 2021-22 season. Having won the Copa America, he was on the verge of extending his contract with Barcelona. However, the financial crunch at the Blaugrana meant that they could not afford to keep Messi.


PSG snapped him up and the ensuing campaign has not been easy. Messi struggled to score, missed several games due to recurring injuries, and PSG suffered a meltdown against Real Madrid.

Though PSG won the Ligue 1 title, it would have been scant consolation. Messi’s own form had led many to suggest whether he was finished at the top level or just the result of a new environment bogging him down. As he prepares to face Italy in the Finalissima 2022Messi gave a tell-all interview regarding the past year and thoughts on the future. Here are the main takeaways from it.


Karim Benzema for Ballon d’Or

Speaking on this year’s possible winners, Messi firmly endorsed Karim Benzema as the favourite by saying he “deserves to win Ballon d’Or.” Indeed, the French striker had an outstanding season with 50+ goal contributions. Real Madrid won the La Liga, Spanish Super Cup, and UEFA Champions League titles, thanks in large part to Benzema’s heroics.

Moreover, he was also the winner of the Pichichi Trophy, given to the leading goal scorer in La Liga. There is almost no one who can claim to have this much success in 2021-22. Messi also dismissed Robert Lewandowski’s earlier comments of missing out on the Ballon d’Or, stating,

“I’m not interested in what Lewandowski said. I said that he deserved the Ballon d’Or before but not the year I won it.”

Uncertain future after the World Cup

Messi shed a bit more light on the comments he had already made about his future after the World Cup,

“It seems very difficult to me, but I’m not clear on anything,”

Certainly Messi’s last chance to win the trophy. He has a contract with PSG till 2023, and in all likelihood, he will fulfill it. However, Messi’s plans after next season has been the subject of furious speculation.

He has been linked with Inter Miami, owned by David Beckham. There have been talks of returning to Barcelona or even Argentina. However, all those things will have to wait for now.

Dismisses claims of “easy” World Cup qualifiers 

Kylian Mbappe had mentioned earlier that European nations have a lot more difficulty in qualifying for the FIFA World Cup. Similar sentiments were expressed by others in the aftermath of Italy getting knocked out in the playoffs. This notion received a strong pushback from South American players, including Messi himself. The 34-year-old mentioned that he used to talk with his former teammates as to how difficult his qualifiers were. The travel, game conditions, atmosphere, and even altitude is a world away from what Europeans are used to. Moreover, Messi underlined the importance of the Finalissima, and stated his desire to play in it.

Barcelona exit was unexpected and unbelievable

It is clear that the manner in which Messi departed Barcelona still rankles with him. As he himself put it,

“I could never have imagined such a thing. Everything that happened after winning the Copa, the joy that this victory gave me after losing so many finals, I was the happiest and all of a sudden all that happened at such a happy time.”

The fact that Barcelona had denied any problems leading up to the eventual admission made it worse. Having just won the Copa America, it was even more difficult to stomach such a major change.

Messi revealed that his children adapted very quickly to life in France, but it was more difficult for him and his wife. Now that he has spent a year in Paris, Messi is raring to go in 2022-23.

Messi of old coming back?

One of the major highlights of the whole press conference was Messi’s willingness to discuss his immediate future with PSG. Messi admitted that the last season had not been his best. He spoke excitedly of looking forward to the next season and how it will be different.

“I know that this year is going to be different, I’m already prepared for what will come come, I know the club, I know the city, I’m a little more comfortable with the dressing room, with my teammates and I know it’s going to be different.”

The fact that he is aware of how subpar the 2021-22 season was speaks volumes of the man.

Given the uncertainty of 2023, Messi returning to his superhuman self this year will be a big boost for PSG. The front three of Messi, Mbappe, and Neymar are among the best in the world when healthy and happy. Therefore, it could be the start of a new dawn for Messi and PSG in this relationship, after the problems of the past year.

Ratul Ghosh
His name means Red and a fan of devilish food, which equals to his favourite team being Manchester United. Can be found sleeping or in front of the TV otherwise. Hates waking up early but loves staying up late for football.

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