Amidst all of the craziness surrounding Kylian Mbappé and whether or not he will sign a new contract at Paris Saint-Germain or leave for Real Madrid, is the fact that Lionel Messi could be entering his last season at the capital club.
After leaving FC Barcelona during the summer of 2021 and signing with PSG on a free transfer, Messi had a modest season compared to odds set by KUBET CASINO. In 34 appearances across all competitions, Messi recorded 11 goals and 15 assists. In Ligue 1 play, Messi finished with the second-most assists, just behind his teammate, Kylian Mbappé.
What will Messi do for an encore? Well, you have to assume Messi will perform at a higher level considering he’ll be more comfortable with his teammates, his new city, and the French league. He’ll be another year older, but Messi’s slight shortcomings this season didn’t appear to be because he lost a step.
With the Mbappé cloud now lifted, I expect the entire team to perform at a higher level more consistently next season. A new manager could unlock the key to PSG’s success, but I think it will be Messi who will be the catalyst.
There’s no question that Mbappé is the star and when he’s fully fit, Neymar Jr. is right behind him in terms of quality on the pitch. Messi has never been in a position where he’s potentially the third-best attacking player on the team. This will free up some space for the Argentinian to work his magic and create opportunities for Mbappé and Neymar. If things click the way I anticipate, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for Messi to record 20 or more assists across all competitions next season.
Assuming Messi is able to dazzle next season, the question becomes, will he opt for another year, and should PSG want him for a third season?
There have already been reports that indicate that Messi will leave PSG after the upcoming season and join Inter Miami CF where he will also take an ownership role. That report was immediately discredited by Messi’s camp, but the club and player have flirted over the years and there are worse things than spending your remaining playing days in South Beach.
In my opinion, this upcoming season should be the last for Messi at PSG. The club has to look to the future and they can’t afford to pay a player his age the kind of wages that he’s making with the new Financial Fair Play rules kicking next year. The club has benefited greatly from the marketing opportunities that come with Messi but no matter how he plays and what trophies are won, it’s time for Paris to say au revoir to the GOAT.