PSG chief provides update on Lionel Messi future immediately after World Cup final
Lionel Messi capped his international career with Argentina by lifting the World Cup trophy in Qatar on Sunday and attention will soon turn to his club future at PSG
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has opened up on the club’s “agreement” with Lionel Messi to discuss his future at the club.
Messi joined the French giants on a two-year contract in the summer of 2021 after Barcelona were unable to register a new contract for the playmaker due to their financial situation. After a difficult debut campaign in Paris, he has netted 12 goals and provided 14 assists this term and has spoken of his happiness at adapting to life in France.
The superstar played a key role in Argentina’s remarkable World final victory over France on Sunday. Messi broke multiple records in the final and, while he eventually missed out on the Golden Boot to PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe – whose stunning hat-trick twice pegged back Argentina in the showpiece event – the 35-year-old eventually got his hands on the trophy after netting two goals of his own.
Messi, who scored seven goals throughout the tournament, is set to bask in the glory of the title over the days and weeks to come. However, he is out of contract in Paris in six months and talk will soon turn to his future at club level.
Messi has been refusing to answer phone calls made on behalf of a negotiator close to Barcelona president Joan Laporta, who is desperate for the Argentine star to return to Camp Nou. Laporta’s negotiating tactics have so far failed.
Laporta had planned to meet with his former star player during his visit to the Ballon d’Or award ceremony in Paris in October, but such attempts were unsuccessful. MLS club Inter Miami are another club in pursuit of the Argentine, but despite reports that a deal had been agreed upon at the end of the season, Messi’s future remains in the balance.
PSG president Al-Khelaifi struck an upbeat tone when discussing the future of the Argentine at the club after Sunday’s final. He said: “Will we keep Messi and Mbappe? Of course. They are the two best players in the World Cup. I don’t want to say anything more about Leo, we have an agreement to talk after the World Cup.”
Speaking generally of the impact made by the Parisian club’s stars at the World Cup, he added: “Most importantly, as a club, PSG have broken all records. We are proud of them and also of Achraf [Hakimi], who finished fourth with Morocco.”
Al-Khelaifi, who is part of the Qatari regime, said of the competition: “I am very proud of the organisation of the tournament, we have shown that Qatar can host the best competition in the world, we have shown everyone that we can do it.
“In my opinion, it was the best final in the history of the World Cups. I am sad for France, as the president of a French club. Sad for Kylian, who played a more than perfect game.
“If it had been me, I would have given two trophies, one for Kylian and one for Leo. It was difficult for me because I was going with France. But I’m also happy for Messi, it is the icing on the cake for him, he deserves it, and Kylian still has years to go to win the World Cup again.”
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