Lionel Messi‘s time at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) was far from smooth sailing, both on and off the field. The eight-time Ballon d'Or winner, who moved to Paris from Barcelona in 2021, recently opened up about the various challenges he faced during his stint in the French capital, reported by GOAL. One surprising revelation was that his neighbors were also unhappy with him, adding to the difficulties he encountered.

Messi's transfer to PSG was a monumental event in the football world. Barcelona, plagued by economic issues, could not retain their star player, forcing Messi to seek a new home at PSG. Fans were excited, expecting the legendary forward to bring his magic to Parc des Princes. However, Messi struggled to find his form and fitness, which led to a less-than-ideal performance on the pitch.

What Lionel Messi said

In a candid interview with ESPN, Messi shared that his personal life in Paris was also far from ideal. He revealed that his neighbors were often annoyed by the noise of his children playing football in the backyard. “In Paris, the neighbors knocked on the door at nine or ten o’clock in the evening to say that my kids shouldn’t be playing football,” Messi said. This constant annoyance from his neighbors played on his mind and affected his performance on the field. “It played a lot on my mind and that had an effect on the pitch. In Paris, on a personal level, I wasn’t good,” he admitted.

Messi's time at PSG was marked by inconsistencies and challenges. Despite his immense talent and previous successes, he found it hard to adapt to his new environment. Injuries and a lack of chemistry with his new teammates contributed to his struggles. This period was a stark contrast to his illustrious career at Barcelona, where he had become a symbol of excellence and consistency.

The pressure to perform at PSG was immense. Fans and analysts expected Messi to replicate his Barcelona form and lead PSG to new heights. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. Messi himself acknowledged this, saying, “I have nothing against them but unfortunately, it didn’t go as I had hoped. Personally, I struggled with the change; it was very difficult for us. It really affected me personally.”

Despite the challenges at PSG, Messi experienced a significant personal achievement during this period—winning the World Cup with Argentina. “When I was in Paris, the best thing that happened to me was becoming World Champion (with Argentina),” he said. This triumph was a career-defining moment for Messi, solidifying his status as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

What's next for Lionel Messi

May 18, 2024; Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA; Inter Miami CF forward Lionel Messi (10) and D.C. United defender Garrison Tubbs (16) battle for the ball in the second half at Chase Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
© Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Messi's contract with PSG ended in 2023, and he chose to move to Major League Soccer (MLS) with Inter Miami. This move marked the beginning of a new chapter in his career, away from the intense pressures of European football. In Miami, Messi has found a more relaxed environment, allowing him to enjoy his game and life more fully.

Looking ahead, Messi is set to lead Argentina in the Copa America, which will be held in the United States. This tournament could be his final international appearance, adding another layer of significance to his already storied career. La Albiceleste will kick off their campaign against Canada on June 20, with Messi aiming to add another trophy to his collection.

Lionel Messi's time at PSG was marked by numerous challenges, both on and off the field. His struggles with neighbors, adaptation issues, and the high expectations placed on him made for a difficult stint in Paris. However, his World Cup triumph with Argentina provided a silver lining to this period. Now at Inter Miami, Messi continues to captivate the football world as he prepares for what could be his final international tournament at the Copa America.