Lionel Messi 'feels different' after admitting he struggled last season

Lionel Messi is rejuvenated in 2022/23
Lionel Messi is rejuvenated in 2022/23 / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Lionel Messi has admitted he had a ‘bad time’ in his first year at Paris Saint-Germain following his departure from Barcelona, but insists he knew it would be the case and now feels much better in his surroundings at Parc des Princes.

Despite asking to leave Barcelona in 2020, Messi had agreed a new contract at Camp Nou in 2021. But the club’s dire financial situation meant they were unable to register the new deal with La Liga.

It resulted in Messi being released as a free agent and signing for PSG on a two-year deal. But having spent more than 20 years and his entire adult life at Barcelona, it was a considerable upheaval.

The Messi at PSG last season was not the Messi that had become known as one of the greatest players of all time – he scored just six league goals, his lowest single season tally since he was 18.

But so far in 2022/23, the 35-year-old has been getting back to his best. Messi has already scored six times in all competitions only 11 games into the campaign, registering a further eight assists for good measure.

“I feel good, I feel different than it was last year,” Messi told media following Argentina’s win over Honduras in Florida on Friday night.

“I knew it was going to be like this. I said it before. I had a bad time, I never finished finding myself. I expected it too. But now I feel different. This year is different.

“I arrived with another head, more accommodated to the club, to the locker room, to my teammates and to the game. The truth is that I feel very good. I’m enjoying myself again.”

Despite Messi finally settling at PSG, with whom he has a contract until the end of the season but an option for a further year, Barcelona remain determined to get him back and are reported to already be studying potential ways for them to do that.

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