Why Lionel Messi could not play more games at PSG

Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Argentina, France, PSG
Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Argentina, France, PSG / Simon M Bruty/GettyImages

The news of Lionel Messi's two-week suspension has raised questions about his return to the field and his future at PSG. Not just for the next couple of weeks, but for the remainder of the 2022-23 season, that is.

The decision of suspending Messi without pay and banning him from the next two games (and all training sessions) was reportedly made by PSG in order to "show their rigor and start on a solid foundation for next season."

It is widely believed that Messi won't be around for the 2023-24 season. Messi is under contract through next June, but PSG don't seem convinced to extend his deal to keep him in tow, let alone do so after this final blow to their guts with Messi opting to fly to Saudi Arabia instead of training with the rest of his teammates on Monday.

Although an agreement in principle had been reached between the parties following the World Cup last December, and it pointed toward both of them extending their relationship for at least one more season, negotiations slowed down in recent weeks.

The media in Argentina and Spain have been talking about a project that no longer aligns with Messi's desires, while media outlets from France and Paris in particular claim that Messi's demands are excessive considering his diminishing production after entering the 2023 calendar year.

Many players on the current PSG squad, in fact, have reportedly viewed the suspension of Messi as something "positive," that will "restore a certain balance in the locker room." That has brought the question of whether or not Messi should play any more games at PSG this season once his suspension is over.

Lionel Messi has caused enough trouble. PSG should not allow him to play anymore

The simple answer to that question? No, no he should not play any more games.

Messi has shown an incredibly growing disinterest in the team, the play, and any games that have not to do with winning the Champions League. Just in case you're a little bit lost, Messi couldn't help PSG advance past the Round of 16, instead losing in two games (losing each of those two games, in fact) against Bayern Munich in March.

After that, and with the team also eliminated from the Coupe de France (a competition in which Messi barely participated, again out of total disinterest in such a "lower level" tournament), Messi has not paid attention at all through the second halves of the Ligue 1 games he's played and he's pretty much done some cardio and roamed the pitch, turning PSG more into a 10-men side than an actual full-strength, 11-player team most games.

The Messi camp has not yet commented on the situation, with his father and representative, Jorge Messi, remaining silent.

The Argentine media has had to rely on the French press for information. It is unclear how Messi is feeling at this point, but PSG reportedly would want and like him to play the three remaining matches after his suspension is over after the next two Ligue 1 games this and next week.

There are concerns that Messi may be disengaged from the club's objectives and may no longer wish to fight for the red and blue jersey, which might have him opting to forfeit all remaining games taking advantage of the current situation in order to skip wearing shorts anymore and until next August, wherever (if) that happens.

Messi's main concern now is finding a new club for next season. He has three options: a return to Barcelona, filling his bag (€400m a year...) at Al-Hilal, and joining Inter Miami and playing in the American MLS.

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It remains to be seen what the future holds for Messi and PSG, but one thing is for sure: the football world will be watching closely and the Argentine world champion will be kicking rocks far from Paris.