PSG confirm Lionel Messi to play final game for club

Manager Christophe Galtier says Ligue 1 match against Clermont on Saturday will be Argentine's last

Lionel Messi has scored 32 goals in 74 games across all competitions for Paris Saint-Germain. Reuters
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Paris Saint-Germain manager Christophe Galtier has confirmed that Lionel Messi will play his final game for the club against Clermont on Saturday.

The 35-year-old Argentina forward's contract ends this summer and it has been widely reported that Messi will be quitting France with former side Barcelona in La Liga, Saudi Pro League outfit Al Hilal and Major League Soccer club Inter Miami all mentioned as possible destinations.

On Thursday, Galtier finally revealed the worst-kept secret in world football when he said Messi's two-year spell in the French capital would be coming to an end.

“I had the privilege of coaching the best player in the history of football. This will be his last match at the Parc des Princes, and I hope that he will receive the warmest of welcomes,” Galtier told reporters ahead of Saturday's Ligue 1 game.

“This year, he has been an important part of the team, always available. I don't think any of the comments or criticisms are justified. He's always been there for the team. It's been a great privilege to accompany him throughout the season.”

Messi, who has 21 goals and 20 assists for PSG in all competitions this season, moved to the French capital from Barcelona in 2021 on a two-year contract and has helped them win two Ligue 1 titles on the trot, as well as the French Super Cup. He has scored 32 goals in 74 games overall.

It was in the Champions League where PSG hoped Messi could make the difference and help secure the club their first European Cup. But they could only reach the last-16 in both seasons.

And last month Messi was suspended for two weeks following an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia when he was supposed to train with his team following their 3-1 defeat at home to Lorient.

The player then issued an public apology to his teammates stating that he “sincerely believed” that he had been given the day off after taking his family on holiday to the kingdom.

PSG were forced to increase security at the homes of Messi, Neymar, Marco Verratti and Galtier following protests from supporters.

Messi was jeered by a section of PSG fans after returning to the team for the 5-0 thrashing of Ajaccio but scored in the draw at Strasbourg that secured the Parisians their latest title. Messi's strike was his 496th in Europe's top five leagues – taking him past Cristiano Ronaldo's tally of 495.

Updated: June 01, 2023, 1:11 PM