Paris Saint-Germain manager Christophe Galtier has come to the defense of Lionel Messi’s second season with the reigning Ligue 1 champions.
Following a roller-coaster first year at PSG, Messi has managed to turn it around in his second season with the club. He has chipped in with 31 goal contributions in Ligue 1 play, which is tied with Olympique Lyonnais forward Alexandre Lacazette for the second most in the ongoing campaign. The Argentine forward also recorded eight goal contributions over seven UEFA Champions League matches played earlier this season.
Still, Messi has received much outside criticism ever since PSG crashed out of the Champions League round of 16 at the hands of Bayern Munich. However, Galtier does not believe that the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is deserving of any criticism this season.
“I’m not going to talk about last season even though, like many coaches or football lovers, we were very happy to see Messi arrive in our league,” Galtier said during a pre-match press conference ahead of PSG’s Ligue 1 fixture against Strasbourg. “I can talk about what I’ve experienced, what we’ve been going through together since the start of the season. … I’ve seen him every day in training, as well as in our matches.
“I’m not making any comparisons with last season, but he has some very interesting statistics this year, whether in terms of goals scored, assists, or his presence on the pitch. I hear the comments and criticisms about Leo, but when you’ve just had a season like his, that’s a performance in my book. Even more so with a World Cup in the middle of the season that he won with his national team. I think Leo is having a very good season with PSG.”
Messi is slated to start for PSG in its upcoming away matchup against Strasbourg on Ligue 1 matchday 37.