HomeIndiaLionel Messi leaves team amid boos after last game: club website

Lionel Messi leaves team amid boos after last game: club website

Lionel Messi didn’t mind the boos in his last game for Paris Saint-Germain when the French league champions lost to Clermont 3-2.

Disrespectful PSG fans booed Messi when the Parc des Princes announcer read his name on a hot afternoon.

A few minutes later, Messi entered the field with a smile on his face, took his three children’s hands before the team photo, and kissed them on the forehead before kick-off.

I would like to thank the club, the city of Paris and its people for these two years. I wish you all the best for the future, Messi told the club’s website.

In two seasons at PSG, Messi won two French leagues and the French Champions Trophy and scored 32 goals and 35 assists in all competitions.

Messi scored in a 1-1 draw in Strasbourg a week ago to help PSG to an 11th French league title. Scoring the 496th league goal of his career, the Argentine genius also broke Cristiano Ronaldo’s record for goals in Europe’s top five leagues.

The World Cup winner did not sign a contract extension offered by Qatar-backed PSG and has been heavily linked with a move to a Saudi club where he could earn more money than Ronaldo. Inter Miami is another possible option but could not match the Saudi offer of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Messi made an effort to get on the scoreboard in the last matchday of the French league. Clermont goalkeeper Mory Diaw saved a shot in the 14th minute, shot wide in the 31st and fired a free kick over the crossbar in the 42nd.

A disinterested Kylian Mbappe made a solo run at 54 to take a hit at Messi, who fired over the crossbar. Messi almost found the net in the 59th, but Diaw deflected his low shot around the post. Diaw denied Messi again in stoppage time, deflecting a free kick with the palm of his hand.

After the final whistle, Messi hugged his teammates and shook hands with the Clermont players.

PSG took a 2-0 lead with a Sergio Ramos header leaving in the 16th and a Mbappé penalty in the 21st.

But Clermont equalized before the break with goals from Johan Gatien and Mehdi Zeffane.

Grejohn Kyei scored the winner by converting a cross in the 63rd.

Despite his aging legs, Messi has produced magical moments this season; a header against Clermont last August, a ball over the top from Mbappe to score against Lille in August that was the fastest goal in the league, a stoppage-time free kick to beat Lille in February and a perfectly timed for Mbappé against Brest in March.

There were hopes that Messi would stay another year in Paris after expressing his happiness at the club in March.

Yes, it is true that I feel very good, Messi told the club’s website. The first year I needed a bit of time to adjust to Paris for different reasons, but I started this season very differently, with great enthusiasm. I feel more comfortable with the club, with the city, with everything that Paris means. And the truth is that I’m really enjoying this season.

But the atmosphere changed after the departure of PSG in the round of 16 of the Champions League.

Messi was widely expected to be the missing piece of the club’s jigsaw in pursuit of a first-ever Champions League trophy. But PSG lacked the structure and balance of the Argentine team where Julián Álvarez up front and Rodrigo De Paul on the right wing did Messi’s dirty work.

PSG fans have booed Messi in recent months as his form slipped after helping Argentina win the World Cup.

Then relations with the club soured last month when Messi was suspended by PSG following an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia. Messi has a commercial contract with Saudi Arabia to promote tourism in that country.

Despite the embarrassment for Qatar, PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi did not appear to show any hard feelings on Saturday.

His contribution to Paris Saint-Germain and Ligue 1 cannot be underestimated and we wish Leo and his family all the best for the future, Al-Khelaifi told the club’s website.

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