‘Lionel Messi insults are absurd’ – PSG’s treatment of Argentine icon questioned by Juan Pablo Sorin
- All-time great has spent two years in France
- Heading towards free agency as contract runs down
- Disgruntled supporters sending criticism his way
WHAT HAPPENED? The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is preparing to bring a two-season stint in the French capital to a close, with the decision taken not to extend an expiring contract. Messi has come in for more criticism after it emerged that he will not be remaining at Parc des Princes, with fans gathering outside PSG’s headquarters in order to aim abuse at the all-time great and his superstar colleague Neymar. Sorin, who is held in high regard by Parisians following his own spell with the Ligue 1 giants, is disappointed to see a deal from 2021 that promised so much reaching a painful conclusion.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Ex-Argentina international Sorin has told GOAL: “It hurts to see what is happening right now. I don't know what will happen in the next few hours or what will happen in the future, I always wish him the best. It was a difficult situation for him to leave Barcelona at the time. I think he gave PSG extraordinary moments. The dream is the Champions League and each elimination has hurt. I see the insults as unfair, I see them as absurd. I would have wanted the ending between Leo and Paris to be different because of the love I have for both parties. It didn't have to end like this.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: While Messi has endured a tough time in France, the 2022-23 campaign has been a memorable one as he finally got to savour World Cup glory in Qatar. Sorin added on that triumph, having briefly figured alongside the legendary forward at the start of his international career: “It is a sensational message for the youngsters. Not giving up despite criticism or personal disappointment for not achieving something. Don't stop, don't give up and keep going. Leo has shown it with his effort, his preparation and, of course, his talent. Messi played the best World Cup he could. He carried the leader's flag in the toughest moments and his presence was constant. The world wanted Leo to be world champion. It was a universal thought that Leo could not retire without a World Cup.”
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WHAT NEXT? Messi is still not in a position to consider hanging up his boots, with club or country, and the mercurial 35-year-old is in the process of mulling over his options as he is linked with summer moves to Barcelona, MLS or the Middle East.