While the Argentine forward showed flashes of his brilliance, he failed to live up to expectations with the Parisian giants.
He notched 11 goals and recorded 14 assists in 34 games for the club this season. While those stats are decent, they aren’t comparable to the numbers he racked up at Barcelona.
Messi has now opened up about his struggles this season in an emotional and in-depth interview with TyC sports.
View a round up of his comments below…
Messi on leaving Barcelona and his struggles at PSG:
“I also had to get used to a way of playing because I was used to playing my whole life in one way and arriving at a place where it’s not the same, you play differently, you see football differently, with new teammates… In Barcelona I had teammates who had been playing alongside them for many years and they knew me by heart. This was all new for me.
“On top of that, I started the league late because I arrived late at the club, then I had a knock on my knee that stopped me for a while and between one thing and another it wouldn’t finish starting. I couldn’t play three or four games in a row. The holidays came and I said ‘well, after this I’ll start a new year, I’m going to arrive with all the batteries, I’m going to change, it’s over the adaptation’, and Covid caught me”.
Messi on being booed by Paris Saint-Germain fans:
“It’s also new for me. It’s a different situation. It had never happened to me in Barcelona, quite the opposite. It’s understandable the situation of the people and the anger at the players we had, at the team we were and because a another year, because it is not the first time that a situation like this has happened to Paris, to be left out of the Champions League in that way, and the anger is understandable. Then if I agree or not about the whistles to me and to Ney in particular, that we were the most marked. But well, it happened.”
Messi on his family’s reaction to being booed:
“I immediately asked what the children had said, if they had seen it, what they thought or what they said and the truth is that I did not like that my family was there and that they heard people whistling at me, and that my children were there and that they had to pass That’s why. They didn’t tell me anything, they kind of let her pass. They didn’t understand anything, because they don’t realise why either. I know they felt something.”
Messi on testing positive for coronavirus in January 2022
“The truth is that he hit me very hard. Symptoms very similar to those of the majority I suppose. A lot of cough, sore throat, fever. But it left me with sequelae. It left me with many sequelae in the lungs. I couldn’t train. I came back and I was like a month and a half without being able to even run because it had affected my lungs.
“I wasn’t scared, but hey, they tell you so many things that they wouldn’t let me start. I even started earlier than I should have started and that was worse. For accelerated later it ended up hurting me but I couldn’t take it anymore. He wanted to go out for a run, to train, and he wanted to start. And in the end it was worse. Later, when I was halfway there, the Real Madrid thing happened and that killed us.”
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Messi responds to Lewandowski
After picking up the 2021 Ballon d’Or, Messi gave a heartfelt speech where he said Robert Lewandowski deserved to win the trophy in 2020 [the ceremony was cancelled]. The Pole was quoted as saying Messi’s speech ‘contained empty words’, but later said he was misinterpreted and said his speech was ‘touching’.
Messi has replied: “Everyone says what they want and obviously he can express himself and say what he wants. I honestly don’t share what he said but I didn’t give it much importance either. That’s it, it stayed there and he can say what he wants and I’m not interested.
“But the words I said at that moment were from the heart and because I really felt that way. I said that he deserved the Ballon d’Or before, because the year before I thought he was the best, but the year I won it was not the best. I just said that. But let him take it however he wants.”
Messi on Real Madrid winning the Champions League
“Real Madrid, without taking away their merit, much less because they are the champion of the Champions League and are always there, were not the best team in this Champions League and yet they beat them all,” he said, per Goal.
Messi thinks Benzema should win the Ballon d’Or
“I think there are no doubts, it is very clear that Benzema had a spectacular year and ended up consecrating himself with the Champions League, being essential from the last 16 onwards in all the games. I think there are no doubts this year”.
Messi and how he faces the new season at PSG
“Thinking about me, individually and what happened this year, I think about being able to reverse the situation, about not having the feeling of having changed clubs and that it didn’t go well for me. And as you said, I know that this year is going to be different, I’m already prepared for what’s to come, I know the club, I know the city, I’m a little more comfortable with the dressing room, with my teammates and I know it’s going to be different”.
Messi knows full well he didn’t perform up to expectations in 2020/21 and has promised next season he will improve. It wouldn’t be a surprise at all if he returns to his very best.
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