Barcelona full-back Dani Alves has claimed that Camp Nou legend and former teammate Lionel Messi is ‘rattled’ at Paris Saint-Germain and ‘not enjoying’ his time at the French club.
Messi made the switch to the Ligue 1 giants in summer after Barcelona’s financial woes ensured they were unable to register the new contract they had agreed with him under La Liga salary cap rules.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has racked up the assists for PSG and has been reunited with friend and ex-Barça star Neymar, while he has also regularly hit the woodwork. But his goal tally – just two in Ligue 1 so far – is way down on his usual output.
PSG, despite being on course to soon secure an eighth domestic title in the space of 10 seasons, also crashed out of the Champions League in shock fashion at the last 16 stage after a sudden second leg collapse against Real Madrid. It ensures the club’s wait for European glory will continue.
Speculation in the wake of the Real Madrid defeat even claimed that Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, had been in touch with Barcelona about the possibility of a return. More recent reports, however, have quashed those earlier claims, insisting Messi has no intention of leaving PSG just yet.
But Alves, who played alongside Messi for eight seasons at Camp Nou and has himself experienced life at PSG, has claimed his former colleague isn’t particularly happy. The Brazilian even recalled a time when Messi would suggest there is nowhere anyone would rather be than Barcelona.
“For me, no, he’s not enjoying it,” Alves told ESPN. “Leo makes this game special and he does it when he feels right. When that’s the case, others benefit from it too. In my opinion, he’s rattled over there. Leo was living in the best place in the world to do what he loves.
“Leo always said to me, where would you rather be than [at Barcelona]? I can verify, there is no better place than here. When we knew he was leaving, I sent him the same message he sent me.”
“I hope he comes back. I hope he comes with me here to take advantage of all this again. Everyone who leaves here regrets it. Everyone. Some say they don’t because they don’t like to lose, but everyone who leaves regrets it. Because they won’t be better off anywhere than here.”