It’s been over a couple of months since Lionel Messi arrived at Paris Saint-Germain, and thus far, it’s been a mixed result to begin his career with the capital club. However, some pundits aren’t panicking over the 34-year-old.
In an interview with Le Parisien, Prime Video Sport France pundit Ludovic Giuly states that average performances by Messi are perfectly understandable; the Argentine forward needs time to fully adapt to the capital club.
“From a simple statistical point of view, it can be seen as a surprise. But let’s not forget that even the greatest player in the world needs time to adapt. Do you think it’s obvious to spend your entire career in a club like Barça and change your life, like that, almost overnight? He, in addition, did not prepare for the start of the season. It’s hard to land like that. He was coming home from vacation, and within 48, 72 hours, his life had changed completely,” Giuly said.
“It’s a huge upheaval to suddenly find yourself in a hotel, in a new country, confronted with a new language …Even though a lot of people in the locker room speak Spanish and have found some selection mates there; it really shakes up habits. Afterward, he also has to adapt to a new system on the ground, to his new teammates, a new stadium, a more physical commitment than in Spain… It’s not easy to assimilate all that. But I don’t worry about him; he will adapt.”
Giuly then touched on Messi’s positioning on the pitch and how that is playing a role in limiting how influential the former FC Barcelona star can be with PSG. Furthermore, the pundit stated that the ideal position for Messi would be to play behind the attackers rather than stay on the right side of the pitch.
“Seeing him on the right side is indeed a bit weird; he would do a lot more good in the center. But it is a choice of coach and team balance. I would rather see him behind the attackers, in the heart of the game, as was the case at the end with Barcelona,” Giuly said.
“Today, on the right, it’s complicated; you have to have the canes, come back… Leo, for him to be more explosive, you have to use his vision of the game and his paw. But the coach has four great players in front and wants to use them (…) But he is less dangerous than if he were in the heart of the game.”
The Amazon pundit also stated Messi needs to understand that it’s different at PSG than Barcelona. The Spanish club ran through him; meanwhile, the 34-year-old is another piece to the puzzle with the capital club.
“In Barcelona, he was the player of the team. Everyone was playing for him; he carried all the responsibilities on his shoulders, the game only revolved around him,” Giuly said.
“There, things are perhaps more balanced with Neymar and Kylian. But it’s good that not all the responsibilities lie with him. He just arrived. He will take them later, perhaps, when he has definitely found his feet. But let’s give him a little more time.”