It’s a question everyone is already asking: where will Lionel Messi play next season? While the Argentinian must make his decision after the World Cup, three destinations seem to be emerging: stay at PSG, return to Barça or explore MLS. Guillem Balague, biographer of the sevenfold Ballon d’Or today indulged in a big secret on the future of the sevenfold Ballon d’Or in the Parisian columns:
“Happy because he has never been happy! The pace is good on the pitch, the team has adapted to him, or rather he has a hand in the game. All the coaches who have trained him since he was 11 years old say the same thing : Leo has to be happy to play his best football. That’s exactly what’s happening right now. He feels a certain kind of freedom in what he can do. Apart from his minor injury at the moment, he feels good, sharp, has done real pre-season preparation, he hasn’t lived in a hotel for months, recovered from a long infection due to Covid, Antonella (his wife) is working, he has developed his hair business, the kids are doing well in school… All the things that stopped him last season are gone now, he has a free spirit. now I think he is closer to staying because he feels good, he is happy. But no the decision to be made until the World Cup. decided between January and next June. He has a two-year contract and an option. But this choice must be verified by both parties. And if he wants to stay after 2023, a new contract will have to be negotiated. But if you ask me how I feel — and it’s just a feeling —, at the moment Messi is closer to staying in Paris than returning to Barcelona or going to Miami,” he said before commenting on his Parisian ties locker room: ” As far as I know, he has no real friendships in Paris. He has a good professional relationship with Mbappé, Ramos or Neymar, but his real friends like Busquets are in Barcelona. Then, I think he understands what Mbappé is going through, his questions about his positioning, the way we should play for him. We will see more and more connections and understanding between them in the game.”
He then spoke about the possibility of returning to Catalonia:
“Yes, financiers are capable of miracles. President Laporta said he wants to see him leave Paris and Xavi, he is ready to do everything to get him because he understands there are two teams to play for. Barcelona: One who plays football with Dembélé, Raphinha, Lewandowski, Gavi, and a calmer, more collectible. Messi can make the connection between the two of them. I asked Xavi, this Monday in an interview for the BBC , if he wants to coach to Messi. Off camera, he replied: “Yes, absolutely. Yes. It’s no secret that Messi has a low emotional volume when he’s on the pitch. But clearly, leaving Barcelona has affected him greatly. On the day his departure was announced, Xavi and Busquets said. they saw him broken, broken. He could not control his emotions and became discouraged. And as if nothing had happened that day, he didn’t have a handkerchief… That partly explains the way he came in last season. With this departure, he experienced it as an injustice. Now he is focused on his season at PSG and the World Cup.”
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In addition to his future at the club, the Spanish journalist also went back to the words of La Pulga who announced that the 2022 World Cup will be his last:
“His feelings and his physique (will guide his choice). If he has a very bad World Cup, maybe he will say stop. If it is good, he can tell himself that he wants more. “Said it will be his. last World Cup, but let’s see what happens in four years. If Argentina ask him to come back, maybe he’ll reconsider.”
Finally, he concludes his absence from the Ballon d’Or and the possibility of winning an eighth:
“Individual trophies are important to him, they are not essential. But he can tell himself that about 80% of the players named did not do much better than him. And above all, like happened before when he lost it against Si Cristiano, sometimes it can be a source of motivation. Why not? We are starting to see him reach a level that will somehow allow him to be named. So if it smiles for PSG in the Champions League , everything is possible.”
A big announcement has been made regarding the future of PSG star Lionel Messi. In fact, according to Guillem Balague, biographer of the seven-time Ballon d’Or, the Argentinian international is closer to staying in Paris than leaving this summer.