Lionel Messi appears more comfortable in his second season with Paris Saint-Germain as the goals have returned to the 35-year-old this 2022-23 football campaign.
Spanish journalist Guillem Balague spoke with Le Parisien (h/t Paris Fans) regarding the Argentine’s state of mind. Balague explains to the French publication that Messi has never been happier and everything is going well in his second year at PSG.
“Happy as he has never been! Things are going well on the pitch, the team has adapted to him, or rather he has his hand in the game,” Balague said.
Balague continues by saying that Messi being happy with his situation with the French giants allows him to play better football than he did during the 2021-22 football season, where he struggled to score goals.
“All the coaches who have coached him since he was 11 say the same thing: Leo needs to be happy to develop his best football,” Balague added. “This is exactly what is happening today. He feels a certain form of freedom in what he can do.
“Apart from his minor injury at the moment, he feels good, sharp, has done real pre-season preparation, he hasn’t had to live for months in a hotel, has recovered from a long infection due to Covid, Antonella (his wife) is working, she is developing her hair business, the children are well at school… All the things that held him back last season no longer exist today. He has a free spirit.
Now regarding the future of Lionel Messi, there’s been plenty of reporting on where the 35-year-old will be next season as his contract with PSG expires in June 2023.
Messi has plenty of routes he can take, whether extending his contract with the Ligue 1 side, returning to FC Barcelona, or saying goodbye to Europe and joining the MLS side.
“Today, I think he is closer to staying because he feels good; he is happy,” Balague said. “But no decision will be made by the World Cup. It will be decided between next January and June. He has a two-year contract plus an option. But this option must be validated by both parties.
“And if he wishes to stay after 2023, a new contract will have to be negotiated. But if you ask me my feeling — and it’s just a feeling — at the moment, Messi is closer to staying in Paris than returning to Barcelona or moving to Miami.”