Lionel Messi leaves PSG for Saudi Arabia on low note

Lionel Messi leaves PSG for Saudi Arabia on low note
2 min read
It is not yet confirmed which Saudi club has bagged the 'greatest of all time' Messi for next season - though he has been linked to al-Hilal.
Messi has been looking for a way out of Paris for some time, say sources [Getty images]

Lionel Messi's uninspiring two-year stint at Paris Saint-Germain is set to come to an acrimonious end with a move to join long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia, just months after his crowning glory at the 2022 World Cup.

For his legions of admirers, the debate about Messi's right to be regarded as the greatest footballer in history was officially put to bed when he led Argentina to the title in Qatar in December.

But his career at the highest level in Europe appears to have finished on a low note.

Messi was suspended by PSG last week for making an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia.

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He has scored 31 goals in 71 appearances for the French champions and is likely to win a second consecutive Ligue 1 title later this month, but failed in his mission to help PSG to a maiden Champions League triumph, suffering back-to-back last-16 defeats.

Barcelona had been hopeful of bringing the 35-year-old back to the Camp Nou, where he won 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns before a tearful departure in 2021.

Instead though, Saudi Arabia, regularly accused of hosting the biggest names in sport to deflect attention from its human rights record, will be able to boast having arguably the two greatest players of the modern era in their unheralded domestic league.

Ronaldo is playing for Al Nassr, while a source close to the negotiations who told AFP that Messi's move to Saudi Arabia was a "done deal", stopped short of saying which club the Argentine will join.