Wijnaldum chose not to extend his contract with Liverpool this summer. The Dutch midfielder was close to joining Lionel Messi at Barcelona this summer. However, PSG's offer was more enticing for Wijnaldum, who then chose to make the move to the Parc des Princes instead of Camp Nou.
Fortunately for him, Lionel Messi soon followed suit. The Barcelona legend returned to Spain following his successful Copa America 2021 campaign with Argentina. However, Messi was informed by the club that they did not have the finances to renew his contract. Following a tearful press conference at the Nou Camp, La Pulga secured a move to Paris.
Wijnaldum has now disclosed what it has been like for him to play alongside Lionel Messi. Speaking to FIFA's official website (via PSG Talk), the Dutchman said:
“To see greatness from such a short distance is hard to describe. He’s one of the best players ever. To see him (Messi) train everyday is a real honour. And to see how nice he is as a person, it makes it even more special.”
Wijnaldum added that everyone at PSG is 'happy' with the presence of Messi, saying he is blessed to have the Argentine as a teammate.
“Everyone at PSG is really happy. It has given the club a real boost. I’m blessed to have him as a teammate.”
It's also worth noting that Lionel Messi and Wijnaldum went up against each other in the 2018-19 Champions League semi-final. The Argentine's brilliance helped Barcelona take a 3-0 lead at the Camp Nou in the first leg. Wijnaldum then upstaged Messi in the second leg at Anfield with a brace as Liverpool blanked the Blaugrana 4-0 to win 4-3 on aggregate.
Lionel Messi and Georginio Wijnaldum yet to fire for PSG this season
Both Lionel Messi and Georgino Wijnaldum have gotten off to slow starts this season. Despite being seasoned professionals, the duo is yet to fully settle in at PSG.
Messi has played five matches so far for Mauricio Pochettino's side. He has managed just one goal in that time, a stunner against Manchester City in the Champions League. Messi is yet to open his goal or assist account in Ligue 1.
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Meanwhile, Wijnaldum is yet to score for the Parisians. The former Liverpool midfielder has accumulated 11 appearances for PSG this season, but has only tallied 502 minutes on the pitch. Wijnaldum has completed a full game on only two occasions so far for the French giants.