Messi ‘unhappy’ with criticism – French media
The football superstar still intends to stay at Paris Saint-Germain despite the media treatment, according to reports
Paris Saint-Germain ace Lionel Messi is reportedly angered by the criticism received from the French media for his performances this season.
Messi left boyhood club FC Barcelona as a free agent last summer after his contract expired and the cash-strapped Catalans could not navigate La Liga’s strict salary cap when offering him a new deal.
Since switching allegiances to the Ligue 1 giants, Messi has enjoyed mixed fortunes with PSG leading to ratings as low as three and four out of 10 from sports magazine L’Equipe that have left him bemused, according to Le Parisien.
The French newspaper claims that the topic has been discussed in the Parc des Princes dressing room after Messi shared his confusion with some of PSG’s senior players.
Messi sees the criticism as unjust, the outlet claims, with the problem coming to a head after Messi missed a penalty against Real Madrid in a Champions League knockout tie first leg eventually won 1-0 thanks to a late Kylian Mbappe winner.
Argentina captain Messi was given a miserly three rating for his showing by L’Equipe, which said “there’s something sad about seeing him like that” and that “this Messi is worrying”.
Best friend in football and former Argentina teammate Sergio Aguero has also picked up on Messi’s treatment by the French media, and balked in a Twitch rant that “French magazines and newspapers”, who are “a******s”, “killed him”.
“What s**t this Leo penalty story [is],” scoffed the Manchester City legend. “He played well, broke lines. He was good and very active.
Another former colleague in ex-Barcelona star Cesc Fabregas, who grew up with Messi in the famed La Masia academy, also took offense and questioned the criticism in an interview with Mundo Deportivo.
“He missed a penalty. So what?” Fabregas asked. “Judging him on that seems ridiculous to me. Football is much more than that. [Real Madrid’s Thibaut] Courtois is a fantastic goalkeeper, and he has merit,” Fabregas added.
“Without being stellar, he had a good match,” Fabregas insisted. “He left Mbappe alone in the first half with a pass that none of the other 21 players on the pitch would be able to do. He got between the lines well; he gave Neymar another pass that could have been a goal.”
Reports claim that despite the treatment, Messi intends to stay at PSG where he has a two-year contract with the option of an additional season.
His return of seven goals in 23 appearances this term is low by Messi’s standards, but the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner leads Ligue 1 in assists with Mbappe through racking up 10 of them for his teammates so far.