Fans boo as Messi's final game for PSG ends in defeat


Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Sergio Ramos, Lionel Messi, Marco Verratti and Presnel Kimpembe of Paris Saint-Germain pose for group picture with Ligue 1 trophy after the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain and Clermont Foot at Parc des Princes on June 3, 2023 in Paris, France.

Lionel Messi has ignored boos in his final game for Paris Saint-Germain [PSG] as the French league champion lost to Clermont 3-2.

PSG supporters booed the football star on Saturday when the Parc des Princes announcer read his name on a warm evening.

A few minutes later, Messi walked onto the field with a smile on his face, holding his three children’s hands before the team photo and kissing them on their foreheads before kickoff.

“I would like to thank the club, the city of Paris and its people for these two years. I wish you all the best for the future,” Messi told the club website.

In two seasons at PSG, Messi won two French leagues and the French Champions Trophy and notched 32 goals and 35 assists in all competitions.

Messi scored in a 1-1 draw at Strasbourg a week ago to help PSG clinch a record-extending 11th French league title.

By notching a 496th career league goal, the Argentine genius also broke Cristiano Ronaldo’s scoring record for Europe’s top five leagues.

The World Cup winner didn’t sign the contract extension that Qatar-backed PSG offered him and has been strongly linked with a move to a Saudi club where he could earn more money than Ronaldo.

Inter Miami is another possible option but wouldn’t be able to match the Saudi offer of hundreds of millions of dollars.

PSG took a 2-0 lead with a header from the departing Sergio Ramos in the 16th and a penalty from Mbappe in the 21st.

But Clermont levelled before halftime with goals by Johan Gatien and Mehdi Zeffane. Grejohn Kyei scored the winner by converting a cross in the 63rd.

There were hopes Messi would stay another year in Paris after expressing his happiness at the club in March.

“Yes, it’s true that I feel very well,” Messi told the club website.

“The first year, I needed a little time to adapt to Paris for different reasons, but I started this season really differently, with a lot of desire. I feel more comfortable with the club, with the city, with everything that Paris means. And the truth is that I am really enjoying this season.”

But the mood changed after PSG’s exit in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Messi was expected to be the missing piece of the puzzle for the club in the quest for a first Champions League trophy.

PSG fans have jeered Messi in the past couple of months as his form dipped after he helped Argentina win the World Cup.

Then relations with the club deteriorated last month when PSG suspended Messi after an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia.

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.

Messi spent most of his career at Barcelona, winning them 10 La Liga titles, 7 Copa del Rey titles, 4 UEFA Champions League titles, and 3 Club World Cup titles.

With his national team, Argentina, he won 2021 Copa America and got the biggest trophy in the sport after winning the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

On the individual level, Messi won the Balloon d’Or 7 times, 3 FIFA Men’s player, and 10 player of the year awards.

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