Messi to leave PSG: What next for the FIFA World Cup winner?

Having played over 21 years at Barcelona, Messi has been linked to a move away from PSG to his former home as well to Saudi, in the same league as Cristiano Ronaldo.

Published : May 04, 2023 22:25 IST , Chennai - 4 MINS READ

With 31 goals and 34 assists in two seasons, Messi has won two trophies with the Ligue 1 side, the league title and the French Super Cup.
With 31 goals and 34 assists in two seasons, Messi has won two trophies with the Ligue 1 side, the league title and the French Super Cup. | Photo Credit: Getty Images
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With 31 goals and 34 assists in two seasons, Messi has won two trophies with the Ligue 1 side, the league title and the French Super Cup. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lionel Messi is set to leave Paris Saint-Germain after two seasons at the Ligue 1 side. The FIFA World Cup 2022 winner was fined by PSG for a trip to Saudi Arabia and the club has decided against renewing his contract.

With 31 goals and 34 assists in two seasons, Messi has won two trophies with the Ligue 1 side, the league title and the French Super Cup.

Having played over 21 years at Barcelona, Messi has been linked to a move away from PSG to his former home as well to Saudi, in the same league as Cristiano Ronaldo.

Is Messi leaving PSG?

Yes. As per reports from French sports daily L’Equipe, Messi will not have his contract renewed at the club following an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia.

His departure would put an end to the formidable trio of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Messi, at least at Parc des Princes.

The question that arises immediately would be which club could be the next destination for the Argentine legend.

Is Messi a free agent in 2023?

Messi joined PSG on a two-year contract on August 10, 2021. His contract will expire on June 30, 2023, making him a free agent after that.

Where is Messi going to move to?

There are several clubs that have a possibility of signing him, including his former home, Barcelona, Manchester City or even a move outside Europe.

Sportstar lists the possible destinations for the World Cup winner who is reportedly set to move away from Paris this summer.

Is Messi coming back to Barca?

Barcelona coach Xavi played alongside Messi when the Spanish club ruled European football under heralded coach Pep Guardiola.

Manager Xavi has said that he would welcome Messi back to the club where he scored 672 goals and where he won four Champions League trophies.
Manager Xavi has said that he would welcome Messi back to the club where he scored 672 goals and where he won four Champions League trophies. | Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Manager Xavi has said that he would welcome Messi back to the club where he scored 672 goals and where he won four Champions League trophies. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Xavi repeated this week that he would welcome Messi back to the club where he scored 672 goals — including an extraordinary 50-goal season in 2012 and a remarkable 133 overall across 2012 and 2013 — and where he won four Champions League trophies.

“It depends on many factors. We must see what the financial fair play rules allow us to do,” Xavi, the former midfield great, said.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta is keen on bringing Messi back, but the Spanish league leaders are steeped in debt and facing investigation because of payments of millions of dollars to a company linked to a Spanish refereeing official.

Will Messi go to Premier League?

When he was forced to leave Barcelona in 2021, Messi was linked with a move to Manchester City to reunite with his former mentor Guardiola.

But Guardiola already has a prolific scorer in Erling Haaland and playmaker Kevin De Bruyne as his chief creator, among a slew of other creative midfielders.

Messi joining Man City will see he reunite with former Barcelona and current City manager Pep Guardiola.
Messi joining Man City will see he reunite with former Barcelona and current City manager Pep Guardiola. | Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Messi joining Man City will see he reunite with former Barcelona and current City manager Pep Guardiola. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Messi earns 40 million euros (USD 43.6 million) per season with PSG and Abu-Dhabi-backed City could afford to match it, especially for only one season.

But Messi would be arriving in the highly-physical Premier League at the advanced age of 36.

Is Messi going to Saudi Arabia?

Lionel Messi has received a formal offer to join Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal next season, a source close to Argentina’s World Cup-winning captain told Reuters on Thursday.

Al-Hilal did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside of normal business hours.

The offer from the Saudi club is the only one Messi has received so far, the source added. Argentine media have reported that the offer is worth around $400 million a year.

Messi is a Saudi ambassador for tourism and his long-time rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, signed for Saudi club Al-Nassr in December in a deal reported to be worth around $220 million per year.

Will Lionel Messi come to MLS?

The physical demands would be lower in the MLS, with Inter Miami a potential destination if Messi decides to follow the example of David Beckham and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and play in the United States.

Beckham’s Inter Miami could not possibly match the Saudi salary offer but, according to British newspaper The Independent, one way around that would be to give Messi an equity stake in the franchise.

(with inputs from Reuters and AP)

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