Things have not gone to plan for Lionel Messi since joining Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona and former PSG star and France international Jerome Rothen has accused him of just ‘passing through’ the club
Lionel Messi has struggled to find his best form at Paris Saint-Germain since his high-profile summer transfer from Barcelona this summer.
The Argentine has netted just two domestic goals across 15 appearances since his move to the French capital this summer.
In November, Messi landed a record-breaking seventh Ballon d’Or title by scooping the 2021 accolade before ranking second behind Robert Lewandowski in the 2021 FIFA Best Men’s Player awards last month.
However, despite enjoying greater success during the club’s Champions League group stages, it is hard to argue that his spell in Paris has so far been underwhelming.
Recent reports have indicated that Messi is unhappy in Paris as he has failed to settle in the city and at the club for multiple reasons.
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The 34-year-old once again struggled to yield influence for Mauricio Pochettino’s side as PSG needed a last-gasp Kylian Mbappe winner to beat Rennes in Friday’s Ligue 1 clash.
It is claimed that he and his family are yet to fluently speak French, which is perhaps unsurprising, although the club have organised private language lessons for Messi and his young family.
They are also said to miss the weather of the Catalan capital with Paris instead having a cooler climate with more rain.
This was a claim that was echoed by his close friend Luis Suarez earlier this season, when the Uruguayan claimed that Messi told him he was “suffering” in the French capital.
Former PSG winger and France international Jerome Rothen has now added his voice of concern to the situation of Messi at the Parc des Princes.
Rothen said in an interview with Marca : “Messi will not leave a mark on PSG.
“He is the boy of another club, Barca, which is his life, also in terms of the city – he goes there when he has days off.
“He is passing through PSG, nobody expected him to be there, not even himself. He has signed a two-year contract at 34, he is surely the best player in history of football but he does not have the legs that he did before, he cannot repeat the same level of efforts as he did before.
“And besides, and above all, he doesn’t have the same team or the same teammates as at Barca.
“You have to feel good at a club and now at PSG there are many problems in adapting the players so that Leo feels good and that affects private life.
“So I don’t think he will make a mark at PSG like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and although the history of PSG is shorter compared to others you cannot put Messi up there with the greatest.”
Well-known Canal+ analyst Pierre Menes this weekend voiced his concern on how the PSG boss has handled the positioning of the superstar attacker in the clash against Rennes.
Menes has claimed: “I thought that Pochettino understood after the match against Lille that Messi was better in a more advanced position. But no, not at all.
“He made him play again in a leading position, sometimes on the right, sometimes on the left, sometimes in the middle…essentially, in a position where he clearly no longer has the physicality to dominate the game.
“At his age and with his talent in front of goal, he would be much more useful to PSG.
“But hey, I’m not the PSG coach.”
PSG host Real Madrid in the first leg of their potentially season-defining Champions League Round of 16 clash on Tuesday before travelling to the Spanish capital for the return leg on 9 March.