'For everyone's sake, it should end in June' – Messi urged to leave PSG

By Sports Desk March 24, 2022

Lionel Messi has been urged by player-turned-pundit Jerome Rothen to quit Paris Saint-Germain after just one season.

The Argentine forward signed a lucrative two-year deal last August after being turfed out of Barcelona when the Spanish club realised they could not afford to register him.

It meant there was the tantalising prospect of Messi teaming up with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe at the Parc des Princes, but they have only featured together in fits and starts due to illness and injury.

PSG hoped to storm the Champions League but were eliminated by Real Madrid at the last-16 stage after squandering a 2-0 aggregate lead during the second leg in Spain.

Messi has managed just two Ligue 1 goals, and seven in all competitions, meaning that for the first time since 2005-06 at Barcelona, he could finish a season with a single-figure goals haul.

"The love story was never made with PSG," Rothen said on his RMC Sports programme. "For everyone's sake, it should end in June."

Barcelona have said they would not close the door on Messi returning to Camp Nou, now that they appear in a better position to sign players.

That still seems unlikely but may be an option on the table should Messi agree his time in France has been a rare career misstep.

Messi missed PSG's weekend defeat to Monaco due to flu but has been able to travel to Argentina this week to join up with his national team.

He was booed during PSG's recent 3-0 home win against Bordeaux in the wake of the Champions League exit, an unusual experience for a player used to being feted by fans.

According to Rothen, who played in the PSG first team from 2004 to 2009 and won 13 caps for France, there has been questionable commitment from a number of South American stars to the PSG cause.

"These things shock me," Rothen said. "He isn't the only one in a few years who has functioned like this with Paris Saint-Germain. We've seen South Americans pull faces from time to time, be physically a little amorphous and not play, then they are in full possession of their means with the national team.

"It's a shame the relationship [Messi] has with Paris Saint-Germain today. Will these 10 days [with Argentina] give him some comfort so that things go better with PSG? I'm still very sceptical about it."

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