PSG-Real Madrid: a chance for Messi to re-assert himself
Paris, Feb 13 (EFE).- The hype created by the arrival of Lionel Messi in Paris has given way to disappointment as the Argentine star has not reached his full potential at Paris Saint Germain.
Since joining the French club, the 34-year-old has bagged as little as two Ligue 1 goals, compared to Kylian Mbappe’s 12 goals.
The French powerhouse’s fans, however, hoped to see the best of Messi given that he had been involved in half of Barcelona’s goals between January and June 2021.
But French league pundits say that the player has lost the speed that gave him an edge over defenders.
Some even think that the player is trying to reserve some of his energy for the Qatar FIFA World Cup, possibly his last chance to lift the title for the first time.
However, some think the star is finally reaching the end of a legendary career.
Others, including coach Mauricio Pochettino, still believe in Messi, arguing he needs time to adapt not only to his new city, but also his role in the French club.
Messi assisted Mbappe three minutes into the stoppage time to finally clinch the win against Rennes. The Frenchman ignored Messi asking for the ball as he fired into the goal.
On Tuesday, he will return to the Champions League to take on familiar rivals, Real Madrid in the last-16.
Messi scored 26 goals and collected 14 assists in 45 games against Real Madrid, to become the most prolific player in the Barcelona-Real Madrid Classico.
The Real Madrid PSG match comes as the season edges closer to the decisive moments Messi has historically excelled at.
At stake will be what could be his fifth Champions League, and first outside the Camp Nou, and the opportunity for PSG to clinch its first Champions League. EFE