“Next season we will see the best version of Messi” - Nasser Al-Khelaifi makes defiant claim on PSG superstar

Nasser Al-Khelaifi is confident that Lionel Messi will be back to his best in the 2022-23 season
Nasser Al-Khelaifi is confident that Lionel Messi will be back to his best in the 2022-23 season

Nasser Al-Khelaifi has claimed that fans will be able to see the best version of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar Lionel Messi in the 2022-23 season.

He backed the seven-time Ballon d'Or to get back to his best in the upcoming campaign during an interview with Le Parisien (via Barca Universal).

Al-Khelaifi sat down with Le Parisien on Tuesday and spoke in detail about his vision for the club. He also gave a few details about the latest news and rumors surrounding PSG.

He confirmed that Zinedine Zidane will not be the next PSG manager and also revealed that he rejected Real Madrid's €180 million offer for Kylian Mbappe last summer.

He also spoke about Lionel Messi. Al-Khelaifi admitted that the 2021-22 campaign had not seen Messi at his best but reminded everyone that the Argentine has won the Ballon d'Or a record seven times in his career.

He said that adjusting to a new city, a new club and its atmosphere, as well as a bout of COVID-19 had prevented the 34-year-old from giving his best last season.

He said:

“There is no doubt that Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or a record seven times, and it was not his best season.”

He added:

“But after more than twenty years in Barcelona, he discovered a new country, a new city, a new league, a new team. A new culture. As well as his family, and he was injured also by the Coronavirus."

He added that he strongly believes that next season we will be able to see the best of the left-footed maestro at PSG. He added:

“It was not easy for Messi last season, but next season we will see the best version of Messi ever."

Lionel Messi struggled to score goals for PSG last season but looked sharp in the international break

Lionel Messi joined PSG last summer and scored just six goals in the league; his worst goal-scoring output in league fixtures since the 2005-06 season.

The Argentine helped create a lot of goalscoring opportunities though and picked up 14 assists in the league. His tally of goals and assists were overshadowed by that of his teammate Kylian Mbappe, who finished as the top goalscorer and top assist provider in Ligue 1 for the 2021-22 campaign with 28 goals and 17 assists.

The Frenchman was awarded a three-year deal worth €50 million a year for his performances in May. (as per Mirror).

Meanwhile, the former Barcelona legend looked sharp for Argentina during the international break and was involved in seven goals in two games for La Albiceleste. He picked up two assists in Argentina's 3-0 win over Italy in La Finalissima and scored all five goals in the 5-0 win over Estonia in a friendly game.

PSG fans will be eagerly waiting for La Pulga to produce such dazzling displays for the club next season.

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Edited by S Chowdhury
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