‘Football is a team sport’ – Lionel Messi defended by fellow World Cup winner Nicolas Tagliafico after more whistles from PSG fans

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Lionel Messi PSG 2022-23
Nicolas Tagliafico has leapt to the defence of fellow countryman Lionel Messi, pointing out to PSG supporters that “football is a team sport”.
  • Supporters airing their frustration
  • Argentine running down his contract
  • Return to Barcelona speculated on

WHAT HAPPENED? Argentine superstar Messi was once again subjected to whistles and jeers from Paris Saint-Germain supporters on Sunday when lining up against Tagliafico and Lyon at Parc des Princes. Such behaviour is considered to be edging the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner towards the exits in France, as Barcelona seek to take him back to Camp Nou, and Tagliafico – who helped Lyon to a 1-0 win in a game that has piled more pressure on the reigning Ligue 1 champions – feels fans are acting out of line when it comes to pointing fingers of blame in the direction of certain individuals.

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WHAT THEY SAID: The Argentina international, who formed part of a triumphant World Cup squad alongside Messi at Qatar 2022, has told ESPN of the criticism being aimed at the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner: “Football is a team sport, it is not just for one.”

He went on to acknowledge that it is “normal” for supporters to want “results”, but says scapegoating will help nobody in the grand scheme of things.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi may not be in Paris for much longer, with the 35-year-old forward continuing to run his contract down towards free agency.

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Lionel Messi PSG 2022-23

Lionel Messi PSG 2022

Nicolas Tagliafico Lionel Messi Lyon PSG 2022-23

WHAT NEXT? Messi has been linked with teams in MLS and the Middle East, but an emotional return to Barcelona is considered to be the most likely option for him in 2023 – with the Liga giants busy piecing together plans that will allow them to bring a prodigal son back onto their books.