Paris may be the city of love, but the relationship between Lionel Messi and the capital team is hardly salty.
Two years at PSG with Leo ended in defeat, the goals the Argentine superstar created during his time here became meaningless. In 2023, the French giants still have not won the Champions League.
PSG stuck in perception of Messi
No club can resist the charm of Messi , a player often described by experts as “once in a hundred years”. Leo with a flashy past of countless goals, magic moments on the football field are created. There is no word in the dictionary that can fully, honestly and accurately describe Messi’s talent.
PSG probably believed too much in that, and then signed a contract with Messi, believing that Leo’s outstanding talent would help the club complete its mission in the UEFA Champions League. However, PSG was wrong or they were confused about the purpose of recruiting Messi. Is Leo dedicated to marketing, image promotion or team tactics?
In May 2022, L’Equipe reported that PSG finished the 2021/22 season with a revenue of 700 million euros. A club record. This increase is thanks to the great impact of Messi. The presence of the former Barca star brought the team 11 new sponsorship partners with a total revenue of up to 310 million euros.
The Messi effect also immediately brought a big brand boost to PSG in the first days the player joined the team. Spanish media reported that 150,000 Leo shirts released in August were sold out in 7 minutes. Not to mention the number of online orders to buy jerseys of the Argentine superstar skyrocketed.
That is just the beginning of the commercial value Messi brings to PSG. Two years Leo at PSG, he probably helps the club more than that in terms of image promotion. Messi, the “goose that lays golden eggs” of the Parc des Princes team.
Off the field, PSG is too successful, a money machine that can compete with any sports organization. In the yard, the opposite happens. Even with Messi on the attack, the quality of the “Les Parisiens” squad has not been able to leapfrog to help the club touch the prestigious elephant ear trophy.
Surely PSG believes that Messi is like a “god” in football. A great magician just needs to raise his wand and everything will turn into reality. If so, Barca has been the dominant team in the Champions League for the past decade and Leo’s number of championship medals does not stop at 3.
Messi is very good, not to say better than the rest. He possesses qualities that make many teammates jealous. But at the end of the day, Leo is just an individual standing in the crowd. But to win the Champions League, that requires more factors, instead of depending on one person.
The case of Real Madrid is a prime example. At their peak, each of their positions was held by the best player. It’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema in attack. The midfield of the club gathers Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Casemiro. The team’s defense also has Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Marcelo, Dani Carvajal.
More importantly, they all played with discipline, a strong desire – qualities that money can’t easily buy.
PSG places a lot of expectations on Messi, which is understandable. However, they should have realized the fact that Leo, no matter how talented, still needs support from the surrounding satellites – who accept sacrifices for Messi. In Paris, has any player ever boldly declared “ready to do everything for Messi?”. The answer is no.
When Messi arrived at PSG, he was 34 years old. Even the feet of a genius could not withstand the brutality of time. The compliments and winged comments for Leo over the past decade have turned into the perfect cover, pretending that he is still very special. A player who, when appearing on the field, gave the host team a 1-0 lead by default.
For many times, PSG got stuck in that perception of Messi. That was a fatal mistake. Messi is not “divine” in football. If the Argentine superstar is so special, why did the Champions League organizers not immediately give the trophy to the team with Leo, but have to extend the tournament for 9 months?
Two years with PSG, Messi has tried very hard. He always shows up at the crucial moment. This is different from Neymar. Players get mysterious injuries every February. However, PSG is a chaotic team, the strikers are divided with the midfield.
When Messi plays for Barca, he has Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta backing him from the middle of the pitch. At PSG, those are unfamiliar players, whose class is always questioned and importantly, who have never had a common voice in the ideology of playing with Leo.
At the Parc des Princes, the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Bayern Munich, playing behind Messi is Carlos Soler, Danilo Pereira, Marco Verratti. On the trip to Germany, Vitinha, Fabian Ruiz, Nuno Mendes,… became the chosen names. It doesn’t take a genius IQ to see that the PSG squad is so unbalanced.
At the moment, if you compare the Paris team as a collection of different parts of a car, the upper part is Rolls-Royce components, while the chassis and tail are “B-class” brands on the market. school. Bringing such a car to the racetrack will only admit defeat.
What PSG can’t buy with money
12 years have passed since Qatar Sports Investment took over PSG, 1.7 billion euros have also been spent by the owner to buy players. A huge number. This explains why the Manchester United fan group wants the home team to change ownership soon.
77 contracts were signed by PSG on the negotiating table, which are David Beckham, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Messi, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting… The coach seat of the Parc des Princes team also constantly changed hands, from Carlo Ancelotti , Unai Emery, Thomas Tuchel to Christophe Galtier. Many tactics have been changed by PSG.
However, to some extent, discipline and dedication, intense desire are qualities perhaps PSG cannot simply buy. The Paris team owns Messi, but do they actually get the player’s love? And if Barca did not have financial difficulties and then had to accept parting from Leo, would the Argentine superstar go to PSG?
PSG also lacks the will to win against the strongest opponents from Germany, Spain, and England. Money does not create excitement. Only individuals can do that. But in Ligue 1, has the Parc des Princes team ever fallen into a situation that requires the highest bravery? Barely.
Money helps PSG change. Superstars help them become giants. However, it is a very poor team in terms of bravery and does not have a “winning DNA”. PSG also lacks philosophical stability, they should have nurtured that with sustainability on the pitch. A philosophy built on intense desire, the unyielding will of the heart, not on the euro.
From next season, PSG fans will no longer see Messi in the club shirt. They will miss you. However, the failure of Leo at the Parc des Princes will be a bloody lesson for the team’s leadership. It’s time for PSG to build a new project, create a real “Parisian” collective, give opportunities to players “who dedicate themselves to the club”. The person who is willing to jump into the fire for the team, rather than the contract that comes and goes very quickly.