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26 June 2022

Business Insider Bangladesh

‘Next season we will see the best version of Messi ever’

BI Report || BusinessInsider

Published: 15:11, 23 June 2022   Update: 17:12, 23 June 2022
‘Next season we will see the best version of Messi ever’

Lionel Messi. Photo: File

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) did not get the opportunity to see Lionel Messi’s true colours at Parc des Princes, but the club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi did not lose hope and made a bold statement about the Argentine.

He claimed that the “best version ever” of the former Barcelona star will be enjoyed by the Ligue 1 champions in 2022-23, reports GOAL.

Al-Khelaifi told Le Parisien, “There is no doubt that Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or a record seven times, and it was not his best season.

“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."

The arrival of the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner in the French capital brought much fanfare in summer 2021, but an all-time great struggled to replicate the brilliance of his iconic spell at Barcelona when moving to new surroundings.

He is about to turn 35 and only has 12 months left to run on his contract at PSG, but Al-Khelaifi is convinced he can rekindle his spark and take his game to even greater heights in a World Cup year.

Messi took a while to find his feet in France as career-long ties with Barcelona were severed, and did not register his first goal for PSG until the Champions League clash with Manchester City in September.

It was November before he broke his duck in Ligue 1, and the campaign finished with just six efforts recorded in the French top-flight.

He managed a further five in European competition, but was unable to help PSG past the last-16 stage of that competition as old adversaries Real Madrid dashed his continental dreams.

Messi did contribute 14 assists in domestic action, with those creative qualities allowing him to add another major title to his collection.