Lionel Messi in the PSG jersey? The image is enough to make many supporters of the Parisian club, and of the whole world, shiver. But would the arrival of the Pulga be such good news for Paris? Not for sure. First of all, on a sporting level. Yes, Lionel Messi is certainly the best player of his generation and one of the best of all time. Yes, the Argentine knows what it’s like to win prestigious titles, especially the Champions League. But at the age of 33 (34 by this summer), his best years are now behind him. Above all, Paris hardly needs any reinforcements at the front, a sector already extremely well supplied since 2017 and the double thunderbolt with the arrival of Neymar and Kylian Mbappé. The Brazilian now wants to find his former colleague? It’s forgetting very quickly that he fled Catalonia to become the boss away from him!
Since then, Unai Emery, Thomas Tuchel and Mauricio Pochettino have no other choice but to field unbalanced XIs forward, like the German’s ultra-offensive 4-4-2 last season. Not necessarily a guarantee of success on the European stage. No, what PSG needs on the mercato is to try and strengthen its midfield and full-backs. That’s the real priority. Especially in these difficult economic times.
Let’s talk about the financial aspect. How can a club serenely consider bringing in a player who pays more than 100 million euros a year in the midst of the Covid crisis and when the estimated losses for the current year exceed 200 million euros? It simply cannot. Or at least not without making major sacrifices elsewhere and continuing to destabilize its workforce. Moreover, it is difficult to imagine Neymar and Kylian Mbappé both continuing if Messi were to land. However, the club’s long-term future is more symbolized by a 22-year-old boy born in Bondy, world champion, than by Leo Messi, all six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
For Paris, therefore, the arrival of Lionel Messi would be far too risky in relation to the potential gains, especially in the quest for the Champions League. A C1 he has not reached the final for six years, when PSG reached it – without him – no later than last season.
And for the Ligue 1 as a whole?
The French championship has of course taken a major spotlight with the arrival of Neymar four years ago, and there is no doubt that the arrival of Leo Messi would have a gigantic impact. But then again, in the long term, who would be interested in a competition where suspense would be reduced to its bare essentials? Wouldn’t League 1 rather benefit from seeing other clubs invest and progress in order to offer PSG a competition worthy of the name?
Finally, for the Albiceleste genius, joining PSG does not appear to be the best choice. Lionel Messi is above all a love story with Barcelona, from his first contract signed on a paper napkin at the age of 12 to his four European titles, passing through the magic period of the Guardiola era or his fantastic trio with Luis Suarez and Neymar. A romance that can’t stop there. Not like that.
The distress of the fans last summer in front of his will of departure says a lot: Lionel Messi is the man of a club. And that club is called FC Barcelona.