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Pochettino Claims Messi Treatment By PSG Fans Unfair


May 02, (THEWILL) – Lionel Messi was treated unfairly at PSG during his first season, according to Mauricio Pochettino, who is counting on the superstar to bounce back in the 2022/2023 season.

After sensationally ending his remarkable time playing at Barcelona, Messi signed a two-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain last summer, but things have not been easy in the French city.

The 34-year-old has scored just nine goals in all competitions, with only four of those goals coming in 23 Ligue 1 games and he was one of several players booed by fans for PSG’s UEFA Champions League last-16 elimination to Real Madrid.

PSG’s ultras chose to walk out en masse following the club’s 1-1 draw with Lens on Saturday rather than celebrate the club’s eighth Ligue 1 title in ten years, indicating that relations between the player and the fans have not improved.

Pochettino believes the situation has been exaggerated and that Messi has been unfairly punished, arguing that it is only natural for him to take time to adjust to his new circumstances despite being on a par with Diego Maradona in terms of genius.

“To judge Messi in this way is unfair,” Pochettino remarked. “You can’t talk about Messi that way. It is like when I talk about Maradona. I’m not talking about an ordinary player. Messi is on the same level as Diego Maradona.

“I have no doubts about his quality. Messi has enough talent to do what he has to do. He will do it. Next season will be completely different for him. It was a year of learning, and not just on a professional level coming to Paris Saint-Germain, in a new league and with new teammates, but also on a family level. You must take that into account. It is a significant upheaval that can affect a player.

“It is clear that the move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain was a change in which a process of adaptation was necessary. Certain circumstances did not allow him to feel as comfortable as in Barcelona, where he had spent 20 years, where he had been the flagship player.”

Messi’s measly Ligue 1 goal total of four is his lowest since 2005/2006, when he was a fresh-faced newcomer on the periphery of Barcelona’s first squad, albeit he has aided PSG’s charge to retake the Ligue 1 title with 13 assists.