Messi is 'very happy' at PSG, says ex-Barcelona colleague Fabregas

By Sports Desk October 17, 2021

Lionel Messi is "very happy" at Paris Saint-Germain despite making a slow start to life in the French capital since his shock move from Barcelona, according to friend and former team-mate Cesc Fabregas.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner signed for Ligue 1 giants PSG in August after Barcelona, the club he had been associated with for 21 years, were unable to fulfil an agreement on a new contract due to financial reasons.

Messi scored a staggering 672 goals and assisted 265 more in 778 appearances across 17 seasons in Barca's first team, but he has so far managed just one goal and zero assists in five games for his new club in what has been a stop-start campaign.

He has had 13 shots during his 370 minutes on the field for PSG, finding the target from four of those.

Monaco midfielder Fabregas has opened up on Messi's surprise departure from Camp Nou two months ago and has refuted previous suggestions that the Argentina international is unsettled in the French capital.

 

"He's very happy. There are a lot of players he knows already and who speak Spanish. He's very happy, of course," Fabregas, who progressed through Barca's La Masia academy and returned to the club for a three-season spell in 2011, told Prime Video Sport.

"I was on holiday with him a week earlier, and he told me he was close to signing for Barcelona and he was due to start training the following week.

"Five days later, he told me it wasn't possible and that the club had told him to leave. I was very sad because I'm his friend and I'm a Barcelona fan. But now, I'm happy to be able to play against him this season."

Messi was not included in PSG's squad for Friday's 2-1 win over Angers, the superstar forward not being considered for selection due to being in World Cup qualifying action for Argentina the previous day.

Kylian Mbappe's contentious late penalty sealed a ninth win in 10 Ligue 1 games for leaders PSG, who return to action on Tuesday with a home match against RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

Related items

  • Yorke hails 'remarkable job' by Emery at Villa Yorke hails 'remarkable job' by Emery at Villa

    Former Aston Villa striker Dwight Yorke believes Unai Emery has done a "remarkable job" and hopes they can maintain the new level they have reached.

    Emery joined Villa in November 2022 when the club was in a relegation fight, and led them to a seventh-place finish, securing qualification to the Europa Conference League.

    In his first full season in charge, the Spaniard oversaw another impressive campaign as the Villans finished fourth in the Premier League, ensuring Champions League football for the first time since 1982-83.

    Villa also reached the semi-final of the Europa Conference League after seeing off Ajax and Lille in the knockout stages, but were knocked out by eventual champions, Olympiacos.

    On Monday, Villa confirmed that Emery had signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2029.

    Yorke, who spent nine years at Villa between 1989 and 1998, says the club have finally found the right balance.

    "They've got good backers, good owners, invest heavily in their team and that shows what they want, but they've got also you need a correct manager and I think Unai Emery has come into that category," Yorke told Stats Perform.

    "Villa is a tremendous football club. Emery has done a remarkable job to get Villa in the Champions League, a bit like Newcastle last season in many respects.

    "Now the expectation is can he now really show what kind of manager he is? Now the [board] and the chairman will back him, bringing new players, bringing players to enhance that team, and they are going to try and maintain that [status as a top club].

    "If he does that next year and qualifies for the Champions League again, plus probably win a cup, I think he then shows what really a true fantastic manager he is for Villa.

    "To achieve their goal this season, I think the chairman, the fans, everybody will be thrilled that Villa is in the Champions League next year."

    Despite their strong season, Yorke admits that Villa will need to think about adding to their squad to cope with the demands of playing in the Champions League.

    "You have got to say to the owners, listen I need another three, four, five players to come in because now you're playing with the big boys, you're going from Champions League to the Premier League to the Champions League with the big boys," he added.

    "You need a squad to be going into these games. The players will find it totally different because they're not used to that.

    "They have got get used to that very quickly, but you've got an experienced manager in that type of way of playing [in Europe as well as domestically]. It will be new for Villa.

    "It will be interesting to see how they handle that type of story going forward, how they handle the Champions League.

    "It takes a really unique manager to then get a team advancing out of that group, then into the latter stage from the round of 16.

    "[If Emery does that], now you're showing your true colours, but I think they've got to add maybe three or four new players to the squad that will help them to make sure that they can maintain [a challenge] on both fronts."

  • Bellamy named acting head coach at Burnley after Kompany departure Bellamy named acting head coach at Burnley after Kompany departure

    Craig Bellamy has been named as acting head coach at Burnley following Vincent Kompany’s shock move to Bayern Munich.

    The Belgian, who took over the Clarets in June 2022, could not keep Burnley in the Premier League, being relegated after a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham in their penultimate match of the season.

    It was confirmed on Wednesday that Kompany was replacing Thomas Tuchel as Bayern head coach on a three-year deal.

    Burnley have now announced that Bellamy will take on the role of acting head coach while they look for a permanent manager, with Mike Jackson as his assistant coach.

    The Welshman was rumoured to be joining Kompany in Bavaria but is in the running to become the new Burnley manager, with Frank Lampard and Scott Parker also reportedly linked to the job. 

  • Djokovic marches into French Open third round after dominant straight-sets win Djokovic marches into French Open third round after dominant straight-sets win

    Novak Djokovic eased through to the French Open third round following another straight-sets victory over Roberto Carballes Baena at Roland-Garros.

    The reigning champion, who is seeking a record-breaking 25th grand slam singles title, took just over two hours to wrap up a 6-4 6-1 6-2 win and set up a showdown with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti in round three.

    Not since the 2017 Australian Open has Djokovic failed to progress beyond the second round at a major.

    It looked like the Serb would be in for a tough battle as Carballes Baena broke in the opening game, though he did respond immediately before the first set appeared finely poised at 4-4 and deuce.

    Djokovic subsequently drew first blood, and it was very much one-way traffic thereon.

    Indeed, from 4-4 in that first set, the world number one won 14 of the next 17 games to sail into the last 32.

    Data Debrief: Djokovic surpasses Nadal at Roland-Garros

    The undisputed 'King of Clay', Nadal's record of 14 French Open titles looks highly unlikely to be under any severe threat in the near future.

    However, Djokovic has surpassed the Spaniard by reaching round three at Roland-Garros for a 19th time in his 20 appearances - the most appearances by any player during the Open Era.

    The Serb also notched up his 94th match win at the French Open. That is his joint-most at a single ATP event in his career, matching is tally at the Australian Open, where he is a 10-time champion.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.