Report: Lionel Messi leaving PSG at end of club season

Lionel Messi will be on the move again this summer.

The superstar who led Argentina to a dramatic 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup victory in December will leave Paris Saint-German at the end of his second season with the club, his father has reportedly informed PSG officials.

Messi, widely considered one of the greatest soccer players ever, will have several options once he leaves PSG. Rumors in recent months have connected him to David Beckham-owned MLS club Inter Miami, Saudi League club Al Hilal and FC Barcelona, the La Liga club where Messi spent over 20 years and became a superstar after signing with Barcelona’s academy as a teenager.

Though Messi reportedly wants to remain in Europe, Al Hilal has reportedly offered him a contract upwards of 400 million Euros per season, and a move there would once again make him league rivals with longtime foe Cristiano Ronaldo. PSG suspended Messi for two weeks on Monday after the 35-year-old took an “unauthorized” trip to Saudi Arabia.

[FOX Sports Insider: Lionel Messi’s complex choice around his most logical next destination]

Most of Messi’s career was defined by incredible club success with Barcelona but failure to win on the international stage with Argentina. That dynamic has reversed since Messi left Barcelona for PSG in 2021 after the Spanish club could not afford to keep paying his wages due to financial restrictions. Despite assembling a superstar trio of Messi, Brazil’s Neymar and France’s Kylian Mbappé — the three captains of arguably the three best international men’s soccer teams in the world — PSG suffered back-to-back disappointing exits in the Champions League Round of 16 in 2022 and 2023. 

Messi, meanwhile, finally triumphed with Argentina in the 2021 Copá America and the aforementioned World Cup, where he won the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player.

It also did not help Messi’s standing with Parisian fans that Argentina’s triumph in an epic 2022 FIFA World Cup Final came against France and hometown hero Mbappé. Messi received boos in a recent home match at the Parc des Princes, and a crowd of PSG supporters delivered anti-Messi chants at the team’s headquarters after news of his impending departure broke Tuesday.

Back in his old home stadium of Camp Nou in Barcelona, however, fans have chanted Messi’s name during some games and manager Xavi Hernandez — Messi’s longtime Barcelona teammate — has said the “door will always be open” for the club icon to return.

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