Christophe Galtier has confirmed that PSG’s match this weekend will be Lionel Messi’s last with the club.
The Ligue 1 champions, who secured their 11th league title last weekend, wrapped up their 2022-23 campaign against Clermont Foot on Saturday night.
The former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain striker had the option to extend his two-year contract for another year, but the clause can only be activated if both parties are happy to continue their relationship.
Instead, Messi’s time in the French capital has come to an end with a number of options now available for his next destination.
Messi has come under fire from Paris Saint-Germain’s fan base but his coach hopes his spell with the club will be remembered fondly.
“I’ve had the privilege of managing the best player of all time,” said Galtier. “It will be his last game at the Parc des Princes, and I hope he will be welcomed in the best way possible.
“He has been an important part of the team this season, and has always been available. I don’t find the feedback and criticism justified.”
Messi has been continuously linked with a return to Barcelona as well as a move to MLS with Inter Miami.
He was also rumored to have moved to Saudi Arabia due to his strong ties with the country. Last month, Messi was suspended by PSG for two weeks for taking an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia.
Messi has a multimillion-pound deal with Saudi Arabia – which wants to host the 2030 World Cup – to promote tourism in the country, but Paris Saint-Germain is angry that the player prioritized this business over his obligations to them.
Messi scored 17 goals in 33 games in all competitions this season.
If PSG isn’t Lionel Messi, then where?
Back to Barcelona?
Paul Blossom analysis
While signing Messi seems like an impossible jigsaw at the Camp Nou at the moment given their financial situation, none of that will dissuade many at Barcelona from believing a deal could happen.
The coaching staff, led by coach Xavi, seeks to get the “last dance” from Messi in the club. Xavi said yesterday: “With my relationship with him, I keep very clear: the door is open here. If he wants to come, I have no doubts as a manager, nothing. I think he will give us a lot.”
Moving to Saudi Arabia?
Paul Blossom analysis
Messi could earn up to 400 million euros (about $443 million) a year for his career in Saudi Arabia.
Lack of projects to choose from in Europe, but the sponsorship deal that Saudi Arabia signed with Messi to promote international tourism does not automatically mean that he will want to play football with his team there and he is not the only player targeted by the league.
Join Inter Miami?
Analysis by Tom Bogert
Inter Miami has long been courting him, and if Messi chooses Miami, it could be the biggest single signing in Major League Soccer history. He has a house in Miami and regularly vacations in South Florida. Miami also has roster space (or “player space” in MLS parlance) ready for Messi.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber said the athlete In March, it will likely take a creative deal to make that happen, but the league and Inter Miami are willing to be flexible.
(Photo: FRANCE FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
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