Coach Christophe Galtier announced on Thursday that Lionel Messi would play his final match for Paris St. Germain against Clermont on Saturday and urged supporters to give him a standing ovation at the Parc des Princes.
Messi, who has contributed to 21 goals and 20 assists for PSG this season across all competitions, made the move to Paris from Barcelona in 2021 on a two-year deal.
The 35-year-old, who has a record seven Ballon d’Or trophies and led Argentina to the World Cup title in Qatar, also won the French Super Cup in July 2022 and the Ligue 1 championship in the 2021–22 and 2022–23 seasons with PSG.
The honour of coaching the greatest football player in history was mine. Galtier told reporters on Thursday that this will be his final game at Parc des Princes and he deserves the nicest greeting.
After an unapproved vacation to Saudi Arabia while he was due to train with his club following their 3-1 league loss at home to Lorient, According to French media, Messi missed two weeks of action last month.
He has been a valuable team member this year and is constantly available. Galtier asserted that none of the critiques or remarks were warranted. He has consistently stood with the team. It has been a huge honour to travel with him this season.
There has been considerable recent speculation over Messi’s future at PSG after a source close to the Argentina captain revealed to Reuters that Messi had received a formal offer to perform upcoming season for Saudi Arabian team Al-Hilal.
The media has also made mention of his return to Barcelona, the team he played for as a child, as well as Inter Miami of Major League Soccer in the United States.
Galtier predicted that PSG’s championship celebrations would be put on hold while the grieving team focused on caring for goalkeeper Sergio Rico, thus Messi’s final game for the club is unlikely to be a happy occasion.
The day after PSG won the championship with one game still to play after a 1-1 draw at Racing Strasbourg, Rico was injured in a riding accident while taking part in an annual pilgrimage in southern Spain.
After being seriously injured by a mule cart and a horse that ran over him, Rico has been in intensive care, according to a statement from his family late on Sunday. According to the Spanish newspaper Marca, Rico had been astride a horse.
There won’t be any parties because this week has been so challenging. Galtier told reporters before PSG’s final league game of the season, “We’re all impacted because we went from winning the French title on Saturday to waking up in more than a little pain on Sunday morning.
We’re all affected, and we’re doing our best to use the training sessions to distract ourselves as much as possible. We are all extremely unified in wishing Sergio, his mother, his wife, and all of his loved ones tonnes of good feelings and energy.
Lionel Messi will play his final match for PSG against Clermont on Saturday. Despite speculation about his future, Messi has had a successful season with PSG, contributing to numerous goals and assists. However, the mood surrounding his farewell is overshadowed by goalkeeper Sergio Rico’s serious injury, postponing the team’s championship celebrations.