Messi’s PSG stint
Lionel Messi would join PSG over the summer, departing long-time club FC Barcelona in the biggest transfer story of the year.
With the Argentine reuniting with Neymar, as well as golden boy Kylian Mbappe, there was an expectation that PSG would go on to dominate both domestically and in Europe this campaign.
However, that has not really proven the case so far. The capital giants do have a healthy lead atop Ligue 1, but Messi has scored just once in 10 games, whilst also providing five assists.
In the Champions League, meanwhile, Messi scored five in five, but PSG still only finished second in their group behind Manchester City.
‘If you start to discuss Messi, it is because you did not understand anything about football’
After a fairly average start to life at PSG by his usual standards, Messi has come in for criticism.
The always outspoken Rafael Van der Vaart, for example, questioned Messi’s desire recently:
“It makes me sad. It’s a question of desire. Does he [Messi] want it or not? When you compare him to Cristiano Ronaldo, one is fighting to take his team to the next level – and one isn’t. “Messi walks now and then. I look at him and think, ‘Aren’t you ashamed?’
Now though, PSG sporting director Leonardo has moved to defend Messi from such comments, stating:
“Lionel Messi is indisputable for me. If you start to discuss Messi, it is because you did not understand anything about football. We can not doubt.
“If you look at Messi’s numbers, his first six months are incredible. He and Kylian Mbappe have been involved in almost every club goal. He is defining and decisive. We haven’t taken Messi to put on the show every time. game. With him, of course we are more competitive. He can decide every game.”
The Spaniard added:
“Who says he has to run 12 kilometres in every game? He’s been playing the same way for 20 years. It changes when you have other players next to you,” he added. “He’s adaptable because he’s a genius, and the other geniuses we have are going to adapt to him. “