Galtier confirms Messi will leave PSG and defends Argentinian’s time at club

Paris Saint-Germain manager Christophe Galtier has confirmed Lionel Messi will play his final match for the club this weekend.

Messi’s contract with the French club expires this summer and Galtier confirmed on Thursday what many had expected.

“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,” said Galtier, whose team play Clermont Foot on Saturday.

“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.”.

While the 35-year-old won the World Cup with Argentina last December, his time at PSG has been far from an unmitigated success. He arrived at PSG in August 2021, joining a star-studded team that includes Kylian Mbappé and Neymar, with the hope of winning the club’s first Champions League title. Although PSG clinched their 11th Ligue 1 title last weekend, in March they were once again knocked out of the Champions League in the last 16.

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In recent weeks, Messi has received abuse from some sections of PSG fans, and last month the club suspended him following an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia. Messi has a commercial contract with Saudi Arabia to promote tourism and has been linked with a lucrative move there at the end of the season.

There has also been talk of a return to Barcelona, where he spent the majority of his career and won 10 La Liga titles and the Champions League on four occasions. Messi has also been linked with a move to David Beckham’s MLS team, Inter Miami. He has scored 32 goals in 74 games in all competitions for PSG.

In other Ligue 1 news, Will Still has signed a new contract to stay at Reims until 2025. The English-Belgian manager replaced Óscar García on an interim basis last October, and led the team on a 19-match unbeaten run.

A childhood West Ham fan who has expressed interest in managing the Hammers in future, Still has committed his future to Reims, who are 11th in the table. His brother Nicolas will also join the club’s coaching staff from the start of next season.

Igor Tudor will leave Marseille after just one season, having led the club to third place and Champions League football. The former Verona manager has been linked with a return to Serie A, but insisted he has not received any offers so far and was leaving for “personal and professional reasons”.

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“It was an honour to work for the club,” the Croatian told a press conference on Tuesday. “On a personal level, I have grown. I leave the club in a better position than the one I found it in.” Tudor, who replaced Jorge Sampaoli last summer, added that “a season here is worth two or three seasons in another club.”.