Lionel Messi, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, made a sensational move to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the summer of 2021.
However, his move to the French club did not go as planned, with the Argentine failing to replicate his usual levels of excellence on a consistent basis.
The football star is scheduled to leave PSG at the end of the season. This article examines why Messi failed to light up the French capital.
1. Adjusting to a new league and playing style
One of the primary reasons why Messi has struggled at PSG is because he’s had to adapt to a new league and playing style. The French league is known for being more physical than La Liga, which is Messi’s home turf. Additionally, PSG plays a different style of football than Barcelona, where Messi spent the majority of his career. PSG is a more counter-attacking team, which means that Messi has had to adjust to playing in a more direct style.
2. Injuries and fitness issues
Another factor that has contributed to Messi’s slow start at PSG is his fitness. Messi missed several games at the start of the season due to a knee injury, and he’s also had to deal with other niggling fitness issues throughout the campaign. As a result, he’s been unable to get into a rhythm and has struggled to produce his best performances on a consistent basis.
3. Integration into the team
Although Messi is undoubtedly a world-class player, he’s still had to integrate into a new team and get used to playing with new teammates. This can take time, and Messi has found it difficult to form a cohesive understanding with his new colleagues. Additionally, PSG has a star-studded squad, and Messi has had to share the limelight with other top players like Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
4. Tactical issues
At PSG, Messi has been deployed in a deeper role than he’s used to, which has limited his impact on the game. The team’s management has been criticized for not being able to get the best out of its star-studded squad, and Messi has suffered as a result.
5. Pressure and expectations
Finally, the pressure and expectations on Messi at PSG have been immense. The Argentine is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, and there was a lot of hype surrounding his move to PSG. Fans and media alike expected Messi to immediately transform PSG into the dominant force in Europe, but this has not been the case. The pressure to perform and meet expectations may have affected Messi’s form and confidence on the pitch.