It was his farewell match against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), his club of two seasons. As the Parc des Princes stadium announcer called out backup Lionel Messi, 36, before the match, the crowd erupted in boos.
But Messi walked onto the field a few minutes later with a smile on his face, holding the hands of three children. Prior to PSG’s last 38 round of the 2022-2023 French Ligue 1 (home) against Clermont-Fort, the club had officially announced that it would not extend Messi’s contract, which expires at the end of June.
Some home fans were not happy to see one of the biggest stars of his generation go, even as their team clinched the Ligue 1 title. This was especially true given reports that Messi would soon join Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal in a deal worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
Messi played as an attacking midfielder in a 3-4-1-2 formation, supporting the duo of Kylian Mbappe and Hugo Ekitiqe.
However, despite a Sergio Ramos header in the 16th minute and a Mbappe penalty in the 21st minute, PSG conceded three goals in the next three minutes (24th minute, 45+1st minute, and 18th minute) to fall to a heartbreaking 2-3 defeat.
The game was not particularly significant on paper, as the club had already clinched the Ligue 1 title the previous week, but it was a farewell match for Messi and center back Sergio Ramos, who both played the entire first and second halves.
Messi had a golden opportunity in the center of the penalty box nine minutes into the second half, when the teams were tied 2-2, when he was assisted by Mbappe, but his shot sailed high. Boos erupted again from the crowd.
Messi went close again five minutes later with a left-footed shot from the left side of the penalty area, again assisted by Mbappe. PSG had two more crucial chances wasted by Messi before the hosts pulled a goal back four minutes later.
“I want to thank the club, the city of Paris and the people, and I wish you all the best for the future,” Messi said in a farewell statement on the club’s website.
In two seasons in a PSG uniform, Messi totaled 32 goals and 35 assists, helping the club win two French Ligue 1 titles and the French Champions Trophy.
PSG clinched their second consecutive Ligue 1 title in the 37th round, but this season, despite having Messi and Mbappe in the Champions League, they were knocked out in the round of 16 for the second straight season, much to the disappointment of their fans. Fans have reportedly been vocal in recent weeks about their displeasure with Messi and the squad.토토사이트
PSG players were presented with the Ligue 1 trophy after the game, but there were also loud boos for coach Christophe Galtier around the stadium.