Lionel Messi is finally in time for Paris

Happiness at work is a topic in the air, even at Paris Saint-Germain, at least as much as traveling by private plane in a period of energetic sobriety. Since the start of the season, Lionel Messi is finally a satisfied 35-year-old employee and still hopes to prove it with his next professional trip to Lisbon to face Benfica during the 3And Champions League day, this Wednesday 6 October.

However, a Messi well in his head and crampons is a found Messi, according to Christophe Galtier. ” The relationship he has with his partners during training sessions suggests that he is happy and, when he is happy, he performs and regains the standards he has had throughout his career. summarizes the Parisian coach after the victory against Nice (2-1).

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Saturday 1uh In October, the Argentine even found instructions for the unstoppable direct punishment, a document we thought had been forgotten in Barcelona. It was his first with PSG, but the 60th of his career for the one whose former teammate in Catalonia, defender Nelson Semedo, once confided that he had never seen Messi train there. Talent, without a doubt. However, the quality of the shot is often considered a good indicator of a footballer’s form. If so, one thing is clear: the seven-time Ballon d’Or is faring much better than during a disappointing first season and perceived as that of an inexorable decline and a failed marriage of convenience between the star and Paris. .

Market opportunity

Messi was the child and man of a club, this Barça arrived at 13 and left twenty-one years (and 667 goals) later, full of tears and regrets. An annual salary of 30 million euros does not protect against nostalgia. The native of Rosario experienced this departure from Barcelona as a second uprooting. At the end of May he opened up about it in an interview for the Argentine channel TyCSPorts. “If the children have adapted perfectly to their new life, Antonella and I have had more difficulties. On the children’s first day of school, we cried. We were like “What are we doing here? What happened?” It has been a change and a difficult year. When you’ve been in one place all your life, especially at my age, it’s not easy. “

But the thesis of the necessary adaptation does not say everything. The arrival (free) of the Argentine was a market opportunity. Of the one who does not refuse. Problem, it was not prepared and thought out within the framework of a collective balance. It is not the first time for PSG, and Messi gave the impression of looking for his place and his football under the orders of Mauricio Pochettino, PSG manager in the 2021-2022 season. There were the numbers (six league goals for someone who had trivialized the seasons at thirty or more) and the general impression. Often exiled on the right side of the attack, Messi was like an emperor deposed on St. Helena.

“When Leo smiles, the team smiles too”

Just arrived this summer, Christophe Galtier brought the 30-year-old back to the center of the game, in an old-fashioned number 10 position, supporting Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, with a 3-4-1 2 system. Japan, the two men discussed the subject a lot, and Galtier praised it “The very acute tactical sense ”Of the former Barça. Another way of saying that the player knows what suits him and that his predecessor’s 4-3-3 was not the best for Messi in 2022. “When Leo smiles, the team smiles too”, summed up the new Parisian coach in August to justify this choice.

Why didn’t you think about it before then? In defense of him, the much criticized Pochettino did not have this Messi with his legs and breath recovered under his orders. Arriving in France unprepared last summer, the striker ran behind his form between two trips to Argentina to play the World Cup qualifiers, a knee injury and a Covid contract at Christmas with his complications. “It left scars in my lungs” the person concerned confided in May.

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In Messi, the technical genius often makes us forget the importance of the physique, including this famous “kidney stroke”. Deprived of this ability to change pace with little pressure, the southpaw had become a steady setter, a racing car stuck in second gear. Today the Argentine racing car is back to racing and his statistics are running at levels more worthy of his talent (six goals in eleven games). Sometimes replaced (without complaining too much) but still the owner, he is expected especially in February, during the final stages of the Champions League.

A sentence that applies to Neymar, Mbappé and all the stars recruited and overtaken by PSG for a decade. But until then “La Pulga” he also lives, eats and runs to finally win this third world champion star for his country, the first for him. When he returns from his time in Qatar, it will be time to move forward on the question of his future in Paris.

There is an optional contract year left at the player’s discretion. “Very happy with Leo”, Luis Campos is not against the idea of ​​seeing it extended. ” I told him I was hoping he would stay for the three years of my contract. revealed the club’s very influential sports advisor, interviewed by RMC, in September. Still nothing concrete, but bringing up the idea already demonstrates that, in the minds of the PSG management, Messi does not only sell shirts in his name. He still knows how to be decisive in winning games. As it almost always has been.

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