Barca could struggle to re-sign Messi from PSG next summer

FT Desk
  • FT Desk
  • 24 Sep 2022 14:30 BST
  • 3 min read
FT Desk 24 Sep 2022 14:30 BST 3 min read
Lionel Messi, PSG, 2022/23

Barcelona want Lionel Messi to return to the club from PSG on a free transfer next summer, but the Argentine football legend says he has rarely been happier…

Messi is one of the greatest players of all-time, with 777 goals in 986 career games to his name, a record six Ballons d'Or, four Champions Leagues and a Copa America to his name.

Some 672 of those 777 goals were scored in 17 glittering seasons in Barcelona's first team - alongside 303 assists - with Messi posting Michel Jordan-esque basketball numbers in a sport that was yet to see them.

Xavi, a former teammate and current head coach at Barca, has previously spoken of his desire to see Messi return as a player with the 35-year-old's contract at Parc des Princes up on 30 June.

But Messi appears to now have other ideas after an electric start to the season in Paris which has seen him claim six goals and eight assists from just 11 games in all competitions at a rate of one every 70 minutes he has played.

Messi finding himself

"I feel good, I feel different to last year," Messi explained after helping Argentina to a 3-0 friendly victory over Honduras in Miami on Saturday.

"I knew it was going to be like that and I've said before that I had a tough time. I never really found myself," he then reflected on last season, his maiden campaign on France.

"This year is different. I arrived with a different mindset, feeling more comfortable with the club, the dressing room, my teammates and the game.

"The truth is that I feel very good. I'm back to enjoying [football]."

Messi had a difficult start to life in the French capital, only scoring six Ligue 1 goals, with none of them coming against French football's bigger sides like Marseille, Lyon or Monaco.