5 reasons why Lionel Messi has been a flop at PSG

FC Bayern München v Paris Saint-Germain: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League
FC Bayern München v Paris Saint-Germain: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League

Lionel Messi joined Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the summer of 2021. He took a while to settle down and had a rather lackluster debut season in the French capital by his own lofty standards. He has done much better this season.

But on the back of PSG's elimination from the Champions League in the Round of 16, the consensus seems to be that he has been a flop at PSG.

Messi is undoubtedly one of the greatest footballers of all time. His talent, skill and success on the pitch are undeniable. However, his status as a superstar means that he is often judged to a different scale than other players.

One reason for this is the sheer magnitude of his achievements. Messi has won numerous individual awards, including the seven Ballons d'Or and has won plenty of trophies at both club and international levels.

Without further ado, let's take a look at five reasons why Lionel Messi has been a flop at PSG.


#5 Lionel Messi hasn't exactly made PSG a better team

FC Bayern München v Paris Saint-Germain: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League
FC Bayern München v Paris Saint-Germain: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League

PSG has been the most dominant football team in France for several years now. They have won the Ligue 1 title eight times in the last 10 seasons. Messi's arrival has not turned their fortunes around or improved the team drastically.

PSG has consistently had a top-tier squad in recent years. Their best outing in the Champions League in recent times is a run to the final of the 2019-20 edition where they lost against Bayern Munich. That was before Messi arrived at the club.

While Messi has produced plenty of moments of magic for the Parisians since arriving at the Parc des Princes, it comes at a cost.

At 35, Messi does not have the lungs to track back and defend extensively. As such, the rest of the team is forced to share that load.

#4 Messi goes missing in big games

Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain: Round Of Sixteen Leg Two - UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain: Round Of Sixteen Leg Two - UEFA Champions League

Messi has gone missing in some of the biggest games he has played for Paris Saint-Germain since joining the club in the summer of 2021. This includes the two legs of the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie against Real Madrid.

Messi dropped a couple of duds for PSG in this season's Champions League Round of 16 as well. The 35-year-old failed to create or score a goal over two legs against Bayern Munich. He was brought in to make a difference on the big nights and he has simply failed to do that.

#3 Messi's arrival has adversely affected PSG's long-term plans

Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain: Round Of Sixteen Leg Two - UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain: Round Of Sixteen Leg Two - UEFA Champions League

While Lionel Messi's arrival at PSG certainly adds a new dimension to the team's attacking capabilities, it also posed some challenges to the club's long-term planning. Messi is 35 years old, and his massive salary has limited PSG's ability to invest in younger players and build for the future.

Messi's arrival has caused PSG to shift their focus away from planning for the long-term. Apart from Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, the two forward options that they have are 20-year-old Hugo Ekitike and 17-year-old Ilyes Housni, who has played just two matches in all competitions so far this season.

#2 Messi has not helped PSG win the Champions League

FC Bayern München v Paris Saint-Germain: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League
FC Bayern München v Paris Saint-Germain: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League

PSG are one of the richest clubs in the world and have invested massively in the transfer market in recent times. They are an ambitious team and winning the Champions League would be a crowning achievement for them.

But despite all the superstars they've managed to rope in and all the elite coaches they've had managing the club, PSG haven't been able to achieve European glory. Messi's arrival was supposed to help turn their fortunes around.

However, since Messi joined the club, PSG have crashed out of the Champions League twice in the Round of 16.

#1 Players like Kylian Mbappe could have felt sidelined

FC Bayern München v Paris Saint-Germain: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League
FC Bayern München v Paris Saint-Germain: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League

Prior to Messi's arrival, Kylian Mbappe was slowly establishing himself as the main man at PSG. He enjoyed the freedom that came with it. Mbappe was able to fully express himself on the football pitch and he shared a great understanding with Neymar.

Following Messi's integration to the team, Mbappe has had to operate as more of an out-and-out centre-forward. The Frenchman also came close to leaving the club and his decision to do so seemed justified as PSG wasn't doing anything of note towards building for the future.

Despite the fact that the 24-year-old signed a new bumper contract last summer, he continues to be linked with an exit.

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Edited by Shambhu Ajith