Lionel Messi has expressed his love for Paris, both on and off the field, which could be a major setback for Barcelona’s prospects of re-signing the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Due to Camp Nou’s severe financial state, which made it difficult for him to register his already-signed contract with La Liga, Messi was forced to quit the club in 2021.
At that point, Messi had spent 21 years at Barcelona, making the transition to a new team in a foreign country quite challenging. His first season with PSG was disappointing by his normal standards and produced his lowest goal total since he was a teenager (11 in all competitions).
However, the 35-year-old has settled in at PSG thus far in 2022–23; in just 19 games, he has already surpassed his goal total from the entirety of the previous campaign. Moreover, he has 14 assists.
I like Paris much more, I discover the city and I find it magnificent,” Messi revealed in a YouTube interview for CONMEBOL ahead of the World Cup.
“In the first year, there was a big change. Things happened very suddenly, it was not my goal to leave Barcelona and everything was abrupt. After this long period and difficult times, I’m happy to live where I live and my family and I are enjoying Paris.”
Discussing the very sudden nature of the move, Messi added, “It was hard, we stayed in the same place our whole lives, I had never moved and I did not know what it was like to leave [Barcelona].
“We did not expect this, it happened very quickly and we had to leave Barcelona overnight tomorrow. We find ourselves in a new environment.
We had our life in Barcelona, our friends, our customs, and we found ourselves in a different place, with another language, another football, another climate, I suffered a lot because of that.
“It was difficult. But, today, I enjoy everything, including football.”