PSG president insists next season will see 'best version' of Messi
‘Next season we will see the best version of Messi ever’: PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi insists the Argentine can reach new heights in his second season – even at 35 – after firing just six goals in his debut Ligue 1 campaign
- Lionel Messi scored six goals and made 14 assists in his first season for PSG
- However, club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said his ‘best version’ is coming
- The Ligue 1 winners are eager to get that elusive Champions League success
- Nice’s Christophe Galtier looks set to lead PSG’s campaign next season
Paris Saint-Germain’s president Nasser Al-Khelaifi believes Lionel Messi will be the ‘best version’ of himself for the club next season.
In his first season in the French capital, Messi scored just six goals and made 14 assists, which might have been below expectations following his time at Barcelona.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner turns 35 on Friday, but Al-Khelaifi believes Messi will shine in the 2022-23 season.
Lionel Messi took until September to score in his debut season for French giants PSG
‘There is no doubt that Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or a record seven times, and it was not his best season,’ Al-Khelaifi told Le Parisien.
‘But after more than 20 years in Barcelona, he discovered a new country, a new city, a new league, a new team. A new culture. As well as his family, and he was injured also by the coronavirus.
‘It was not easy for Messi last season, but next season we will see the best version of Messi ever.’
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi believes Messi will have a better season in 2022-23
Messi has just 12 months left to run on his PSG contract, but will be eager to please for club and country in an unprecedented World Cup season.
Messi was slow to start following his move to Paris, not registering a league goal until November, two months after first scoring for the club in the Champions League.
Despite this, the Argentine managed to add another major title to his collection by helping PSG to seal the Ligue 1 title.
Mauricio Pochettino’s days at PSG look numbered, with Christophe Galtier the likely successor
However, there was disappointment in Europe. Current manager Mauricio Pochettino came under scrutiny after PSG’s last-16 elimination in the Champions League at the hands of eventual winners Real Madrid.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Al-Khelaifi was in talks with Nice to hire Christophe Galtier as the new coach at the French champions.
But there will be no movement on the managerial front until Pochettino’s departure – and a reported €15m (£12.8m) in compensation – have been confirmed.
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