Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) face Lorient in Ligue 1 on Sunday at the Parc des Princes. The Parisians have lost three of their last five games in the league.
On that note, here's a look at the key PSG transfer stories as of 3 April 2022:
Lionel Messi no longer the player he was, says former Poland manager
Former Poland manager Antoni Piechniczek believes Lionel Messi is past his prime. The Argentinean has been a disappointment since arriving at PSG from Barcelona last summer on a free transfer. The 34-year-old has struggled to find his footing at the Parc des Princes and has endured a difficult campaign so far.
Messi has shown flashes of brilliance with his national team and will be fighting for the FIFA World Cup title this year. With La Albiceleste set to face Robert Lewandowski's Poland in the group stage of the World Cup, Piechniczek has opened up on the 34-year-old.
Speaking to Natemat, the former Poland manager said the game would have been far more interesting five to six years ago. He said:
“This duel would have been more interesting if Lionel Messi had been five or six years younger. Let’s be honest… Messi is now the grandfather of the forest. This is no longer the footballer he was just a few years ago. It is not clear what role he will play in the World Cup in Qatar.”
“It is possible that the coach decides to put him on the bench, given the current level of Messi. A role like Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the Swedish team. Play the last 15-20 minutes of a match. It can happen that Messi plays a sensational tournament, but seeing how he looks in the colors of Paris Saint-Germain, he is not the same Messi as before."
Messi has scored just seven times across competitions since arriving at the Parisians last summer. Lewandowski, though, has been on a tear, netting a staggering 45 times across competitions for Bayern Munich this season.
Neymar criticised for performance with national team
Former Brazil international Walter Casagrande Junior has branded Neymar childish, spoilt and unfocussed. The 30-year-old has been off-colour in recent games for PSG and has endured a difficult season so far.
Speaking to Globo Esporte, Casagrande said that Neymar is no longer decisive for the Selecao.
“I have always said that Neymar in the Selecao, despite his personal records for goals and games, was never decisive. In the Neymar era, Brazil only won one Confederations Cup, and the only Copa America we won was here in Brazil, in 2019, and he didn’t even play," said Casagrande.
“Neymar is in a terrible moment, being execrated in France and the rest of Europe. I still think he is a childish, spoiled, unfocused guy. He was a top star when he appeared at Santos, even at a very young age, scoring memorable games and goals. He was a great adjunct to Messi at Barcelona, his best moment in Europe."
Casagrande added that Neymar's career began going downhill after he moved to the Parisians in the summer of 2017, adding:
"But when he chose to go to PSG, he gradually fell apart. He had several injuries, and don’t tell me that they had nothing to do with his social behavior. He lost his explosiveness and his drive. As a result, his dribbling diminished."
Neymar has scored just five times across competitions for the Parisians this season.
Sergio Ramos planning PSG stay next season
The Spaniard moved to PSG last summer at the end of his contract with Real Madrid. However, his time in Ligue 1 has been a disappointment so far. Ramos has spent much of the season on the sidelines with injury and has appeared just five times for the Parisians.
PSG are understandably frustrated by the entire situation, giving rise to speculations regarding the player’s future. Ramos is under contract till 2023, but recent reports have hinted that the two parties could part ways this summer.
However, the Spaniard has no intention of leaving the Ligue 1 giants this summer. The 35-year-old is aware he has not lived up to expectations this season and is determined to come good in Paris next campaign.
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