FRANCE: Lionel Messi bid farewell to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on Saturday, as the team suffered a 3-2 loss to Clermont Foot. After the conclusion of the 2022-23 season, Messi’s journey with PSG will reach its end. A reliable source close to him has claimed that he has received a formal offer from Al-Hilal, a Saudi Arabian club, to play for them in the upcoming season. In addition to Al-Hilal, there have been speculations about a potential move to Inter Miami or a return to Barcelona for Messi.
Nasser al-Khelaifi, the president of PSG, expressed his gratitude to Lionel Messi for his valuable contributions during his two seasons with the club. Al-Khelaifi acknowledged his role in motivating the younger players and praised his instrumental role in securing back-to-back Ligue 1 championships for the team at the Rouge & Bleu and Parc des Princes.
Al-Khelaifi assured that the Argentine footballer and his family are in their thoughts and prayers, recognizing the significant impact he has had on Paris Saint-Germain and Ligue 1.
The Argentine footballer himself expressed his gratitude to PSG for the wonderful journey he experienced in Paris. He made these remarks after his father and agent, Jorge Messi, informed PSG that they would be parting ways when Lionel’s contract expires on June 30. PSG head coach Christophe Galtier also hinted at the possibility of Messi leaving the team.
Galtier, acknowledging the privilege of coaching the greatest football player in history, made statements about Messi’s potential departure. However, PSG attempted to refute Galtier’s claims by including him in a promotional video showcasing their new 2023-2024 shirt collection.
He has reportedly agreed to a staggering yearly contract worth €350 million ($375 million) to join Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia. This move sets the stage for an anticipated rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo, who currently represents Al-Nassr, as both players compete for the title of the world’s highest-paid athlete in 2024. In the previous edition, Ronaldo earned $136 million compared to Messi’s $130 million, giving Ronaldo a slight advantage.
In addition to his two Ligue 1 championships, the Argentine footballer’s tenure at PSG will also be remembered for two Champions League exits in the round of 16, as the team failed to progress beyond that stage in consecutive seasons.