'Ciao!' - Lionel Messi's PSG career branded a 'total fiasco' as Jerome Rothen claims he's shown a lack of 'professional conscience'

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Lionel Messi PSG dejected 2022-23
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Lionel Messi's imminent departure from Paris Saint-German has been welcomed by Jerome Rothen, who says his spell in France has been a "total fiasco".

WHAT HAPPENED? The forward's stint in the French capital looks to be coming to an end following an unsolicited visit to Saudi Arabia, where he is the state's tourist ambassador. Following an initial two-week ban handed down by PSG on Tuesday, latest reports suggest that the trip was the proverbial nail in the coffin of Messi's contract extension. Rothen, who has been vocal in the past about the Argentina star, didn't hold back when asked about his imminent departure.

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WHAT THEY SAID: “Frankly, it's once again chilling to hear these things," the former PSG winger told RMC Sport. "It bothers me all the more because you know what I think of Leo Messi's years at PSG, of his coming, why he came, why he wants to extend. It's just a financial question anyway. It was the only club capable of giving him what he wanted. The only. I say the only one. He would like to come back to Barcelona but he can't, so he's blocked and he's going out of his way to try to extend, to try to scratch the Qataris even more.

"Since he's already scratched them well for good preparation for the World Cup and he got what he wanted. But now, ciao! Bye bye! That's enough. And I'm going to tell you, this business there, which comes a few days before a crucial match for PSG in Troyes because they could lose the title and a lot of things. They have already lost their Parisian but also French supporters and football enthusiasts, that's the truth."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Rothen added on Messi's trip to Saudi Arabia, which he took hours after PSG's loss to Lorient in Ligue 1: "Lionel Messi, I don't question his fantastic career or his talent, but his coming to PSG is a total fiasco. And to see that he doesn't even have the professional conscience to say to himself 'in terms of images, it may be inappropriate for me to go there because I was more than useless against Lorient and we were considered to be losers throughout the match…' When the team is in agony, he is even more in agony. It's not possible when we're talking about the best player in the world."

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Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi Barcelona

Jerome Rothen

WHAT NEXT? PSG's drab 3-1 defeat to Lorient leaves Christophe Galtier's side just five points clear of second-placed Marseille with five games remaining. Messi will now be unavailable for two of them, as he will undoubtedly be thinking about his next destination - which may even be outside of Europe.