Christophe Galtier confirmed on Thursday that Paris Saint-Germain’s upcoming home fixture against Clermont Foot will be Lionel Messi’s final match with the reigning Ligue 1 champions. Messi will become a free agent after this season, and he will be able to sign with any team on a free transfer deal.
During a pre-match press conference ahead of PSG’s league clash with Clermont Foot, Galtier took some time to touch on just what it has been like to manage the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner this season.
“Tomorrow is his last match at the Parc des Princes,” Galtier said. “I had the privilege of coaching the best player in the history of football. It’s a great privilege. … I hope he will be welcomed in the best possible way. A lot has been said about Leo, and you’ve analyzed him. … This year, he’s been an important part of the team, always available for training sessions.
“I don’t think the comments and criticisms are at all justified, because in a season with the World Cup, he has incredible stats, 21 goals and 22 assists I think, and he’s always been at the service of the team. As I said, it’s been a great privilege, not to coach him, but to accompany him throughout the season.”
Messi has managed to bounce back from his sluggish first season at PSG. He leads Ligue 1 in assists this season with 16, and he chipped in with eight goal contributions in UEFA Champions League play earlier in the campaign.
It remains to be seen just which club will end up winning the Messi sweepstakes. The Argentine forward has been linked with several clubs as of late, including Barcelona.