Lionel Messi had some significant and disappointing moments during his two seasons with Paris Saint-Germain. One came in the first leg against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 matchup.
The Argentine had an opportunity to open the scoring via a penalty kick midway through the second half. However, Messi would step into the box, and Thibaut Courtois made the save to keep the score 0-0.
Messi spoke about that penalty kick and matchup loss to Real Madrid in L’Equipe’s documentary Ballon d’Or 2022: la course vers l’éternité.
“This elimination was very painful because we had two good matches, especially in the first leg, where we deserved to obtain a better result,” Messi said (h/t Le10Sport). “I missed a penalty, and for me, it was hard to swallow.”
Karim Benzema et Lionel Messi reviennent sur le match Real Madrid-PSG en 2022
📺Extrait du documentaire "Ballon d’Or 2022 : la course vers l’éternité" à découvrir sur la chaîne L'Équipe le 23 octobre 2023 pic.twitter.com/jzjjxE4wpk
— la chaine L'Équipe (@lachainelequipe) October 22, 2023
PSG did score late in that first leg, thanks to Kylian Mbappé. However, the meltdown in the second leg and the final scoreline of 3-2 means that the penalty kick that Messi missed was noticeable.
It could’ve been an entirely different contest in Madrid had the Ligue 1 side entered the match with a 2-0 lead. Nonetheless, it’s one of those scenarios where many people can say, “What could’ve been.”
Had Messi scored that penalty kick, maybe his tenure at PSG would have gone in a different direction. We’ll never know.