PARIS. — Lionel Messi will play his last game for Paris St Germain against Clermont tomorrow, coach Christophe Galtier said yesterday, as he called on fans to give the Argentina forward a warm send-off at the Parc des Princes.
Messi, who has 21 goals and 20 assists for PSG in all competitions this season, moved to the French capital from Barcelona in 2021 on a two-year contract.
The 35-year-old, who led Argentina to the World Cup title in Qatar and also boasts a record seven Ballon d’Or awards, won the Ligue 1 title in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons with PSG as well as the French Super Cup in July 2022.
“I had the privilege of coaching the best player in the history of football. This will be his last match at the Parc des Princes, and I hope that he will receive the warmest of welcomes,” Galtier told reporters yesterday.
Last month, French media reported that Messi was suspended for two weeks after an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia when he was supposed to train with his team following their 3-1 defeat at home to Lorient in the league.
“This year, he has been an important part of the team, always available. I don’t think any of the comments or criticisms are justified,” Galtier said.
“He’s always been there for the team. It’s been a great privilege to accompany him throughout the season.”
Messi’s future at PSG had been the subject of much speculation recently, with a source close to the Argentina captain telling Reuters that he had received a formal offer to join Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal next season. He has also been linked in the media with a move back to boyhood club Barcelona, with the United States’ Major League Soccer club Inter Miami also being touted as a possible destination.