Lionel Messi is GUILTY! PSG ultras planning to whistle World Cup winner over Champions League exit & protest potential new contract
- Argentine moved to France in 2021
- Has been unable to deliver European glory
- Deal due to expire in the summer
WHAT HAPPENED? The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner made his way to Parc des Princes in 2021 as a free agent after severing career-long ties with Barcelona. While he has remained a talismanic presence for Argentina – inspiring them to global glory at Qatar 2022 – the mercurial South American has faced accusations of not committing himself as fully to collective efforts at club level. Paris Saint-Germain have suffered another early exit from Champions League competition in 2022-23 and, with no extension to his deal in France signed, Messi is about to become a target for disgruntled supporters.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Mundo Deportivo claim to have been told by leading members of PSG‘s ultra group ahead of a Ligue 1 home date with Rennes: “We will whistle at Messi this Sunday. He has too high a salary in relation to what he offers on the pitch.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: It is said that the PSG ultras find Messi to be the most guilty for their Champions League round of 16 loss to Bayern Munich, as he failed to make an impact across both legs of the tie. The protests against Messi during the clash with Rennes are not expected to be widespread, while there is no indication as to whether jeers will be aimed in his direction when the line-ups are announced, when the players take to the field or during the game itself.
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WHAT NEXT? While Messi is not the only superstar performer to have failed in a quest to help PSG hit their ultimate targets this season, Brazil international Neymar is currently ruled out of action with another injury and Kylian Mbappe – despite generating plenty of exit talk a year on from signing a new contract of his own – is considered to be untouchable by an adoring fan base in the French capital.