The Messi and Neymar saga continues as PSG ultras ramp up protests outside their residences.
Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. have been targeted by PSG fans and pundits in French media several times this season.
As well as protesting outside their residences this month, PSG ultras voiced their anger at the South American duo outside of the club’s headquarters and during matches, reportedly telling Neymar to “get lost” and calling Messi a “son of a b*tch”.
The discontent among the ultras reached a boiling point when Lionel Messi was suspended by PSG after an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia, which further angered the supporters, who directed their rage at the Argentine star.
In response to the intensified protests, PSG has had to implement heightened security measures at various locations, including the players’ residences, the club’s training centre and its headquarters.
This has reflected on the seriousness of the situation and its impact on the club’s operations. The protests not only showcase the ultras’ discontent but also reveal a growing divide between the fans and the players.
In his last game, Lionel Messi endured a difficult return to Paris Saint-Germain’s starting line-up as some of his own team’s fans booed him before and during PSG’s convincing victory over Ajaccio at the Parc des Princes.
“So, there are whistles but very quickly a large part of the stadium made sure to drown them out to support Leo,” PSG coach Christophe Galtier said.
“He stayed focused with the desire to liven up the game and create chances. He’s used to it because he’s been in difficult situations in his career,” Galtier said.
Trouble in paradise?
When the Qatari owned club made a record signing for Neymar in 2017 and purchased Messi a few years later, the intention was clear: they wanted to win the coveted champions league trophy. Yet, they haven’t come any nearer despite such a marquee lineup.
Messi’s forray in Paris particularly is ending in disappointment, with just three games remaining before the end of his contract.
He will leave with two wholly underwhelming league titles, no domestic cups, and crucially, no continental success.
Although arguably the greatest footballer ever, as an undroppable celebrity forward who has been unwilling (or perhaps unable at 35) to press consistently or cover defensively, his signing was perhaps always unworkable in a sporting sense – especially as the club already had two attackers of that type.
Messi’s departure is expected to spark an exodus this summer. With just a year left on his contract, and an extension yet to be triggered, Kylian Mbappé could reportedly be on his way to Real Madrid. Neymar, although contracted until 2027, could do the same.
‘Wholeheartedly focused on PSG’
Yet, both Messi and Neymar keep expressing that they are wholeheartedly focused on PSG and aren’t considering any transfers.
Earlier last week, Messi’s representatives rubbished rumors that he had agreed to join a club in Saudi Arabia after his contract at PSG ends on 30 June, having also been recently linked to Barcelona.
Neymar has also been linked with a move away from the French club despite his insistence that he wants to stay.
Le Parisien reports that a protest outside of the Brazilian’s home by PSG fans has changed the situation and he now wants out. Reports indicate that he wants to make a move to the Premier League, with Chelsea, Manchester United and Newcastle said to be after him.
PSG have been open to offloading the ex-Barcelona stars for a while, with advisor Luis Campos trying to orchestrate exits.