By Temisan Amoye
The transfer of Lionel Messi from Spanish giants Barcelona to French side Paris Saint Germain took the world by storm.
The move was the subject of conversation in different languages for days. Uncertainty had surrounded Messi’s future for quite some time, but it seemed unfathomable to picture the Argentine donning the jersey of some other club.
As it is with football, nothing is certain. Lionel Messi officially signed for PSG on the 1oth of August 2021, joining a host of superstars signed by the Paris club in the summer.
Certain fans have always questioned Messi’s GOAT (Greatest of All Time) status, citing his stay in one club and league as opposed to arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo who had moved across three leagues, winning the golden boot in the Premier League, Pichichi in Spain and the Capocannoniere in Italy.
The move to PSG presented Messi with an opportunity to silence his critics, with the French Ligue 1 usually referred to among fans as a “Farmers League”, Messi’s chances of recreating his goal exploits seemed inevitably high.
But as always nothing is certain and the Argentine has failed to make a goal contribution in three games. Although three games without a goal shouldn’t be a cause for alarm, the fact that it’s Messi playing in a so-called farmers league has sent tongues wagging.
Vanguard Sports reached out to hardcore Lionel Messi stans who also made the transfer to PSG alongside their idol, to get their reactions on Messi’s time so far in Paris.
Is there cause for alarm, or nothing to worry about, here are their thoughts below:
Victor Ogunyinka, Online Editor, Vanguard News
” When you mention Messi, what comes to mind is the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT). Moving from one of the best leagues and teams in the world to a lesser league is something everybody expected would be an easy sail, but surprisingly, no goal in about 3 appearances, should he be worried or should his team be worried?
” I’d say yes because that kind of upset might trigger self-determination to break that jinx and it might be at the expense of great team performance, especially at a time when his closest rival, Cristiano Ronaldo made a similar switch from Juventus to boyhood club, Manchester United and netting about 4 times.
” But for me, he has seen it all and should not be under any pressure to perform, age might be hitting on him at 34, we shouldn’t expect him to hit all cylinders, like he did in his 20s. But sooner than later, the goals will come, it is now interesting to see how the coach manages this.
Stephen Bekes, Accountant
” We need to cut him some slack after playing over 20yrs with one club that has a unique playing style that’s clearly different from that of PSG’s. Regardless Messi has hit the woodwork at least twice already and his performance hasn’t been up to par but far from ordinary because he is Messi.
” I also personally think the age factor is becoming prominent with his lack of constant pressing from the front. We know Messi to be a sluggish player when the ball is far from his feet but with a new club comes new expectations.
But we can all be guaranteed in the expectation of greatness from the GOAT.”
Daniel Azenda, Businessman
” Frankly, he hasn’t been given a lot of opportunities to show himself at PSG just yet, and I will also say he’s adjusting to the new environment he is not used to. I won’t call it a goal drought per se, as his playing time compared to his normal scoring ratio hasn’t really been out of the ordinary just yet.
” It’s a slow start no doubt, but just because of the calibre of player he is.”
Israel Arogbonlo, Journalist
” I think he (Messi) has not yet adapted to the French league being that, this is the first time he’ll be leaving his comfort zone (Barcelona) to a new club entirely different from the kind of life he’s enjoying in Catalonia.
” I suggest the PSG manager should engage him personally, and see how they can both work together to achieve optimal success. He is a talent that must be treated with care. I expect to see the stuff he’s made of in the coming days. It’s a process that takes time to build.
” Watch out for the return of the GOAT.”