Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

Barcelona’s star midfielder Pedri has hailed club legend Lionel Messi after the Argentine has displayed scintillating form in his second season at PSG. Messi had to bid a teary farewell to Barcelona last summer, after La Liga’s wage cap rules restricted the club from registering their all-time top scorer. As a result, despite the contract extension being ready to be signed by the 35-year-old, he had to leave at the eleventh hour. PSG made their moves quickly and signed the free agent on a two-plus-one year deal.

However, with fans across the world excited to watch Messi link up with his close friend and former teammate Neymar at PSG, alongside Kylian Mbappe, the ‘La Pulga’ failed to carry out his routine exploits in the debut season at the Parisian club. Messi could only manage 11 goals and 15 assists in 34 games in all competitions. With that, rumours of him prepping for a return to Barca also picked pace this summer. But he has stayed in Paris, and is now going berserk against the opponents.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi has reclaimed his Midas touch with PSG after a tough first season at the club. Credits: Twitter

Lionel Messi is stunning form ahead of the World Cup

It has not been easy for Lionel Messi to settle in at PSG, after 20 long years at Barcelona. Moreover, the player himself didn’t anticipate moving out of the Camp Nou, despite handing in a transfer request in the summer of 2018. But he had to bid adieu to his boyhood club and move to PSG, where it was a complete different set-up and Mbappe was the face of the team. Rumours of the four-time Champions League winner finding himself at crossroads with the Frenchman also furled up after some on-field incidents.

It seems however Leo Messi has put those rumours to bed, and burst onto the scene with the new season. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has so far amassed 11 goals and 12 assists in just 16 games in all competitions and is stopping at nothing. He netted twice and provided as many assists in his recent outing against Maccabi Haifa in the Champions League, becoming the first player across Europe’s top-five leagues to accumulate double figures in both goals scored and assists provided. Speaking after Barca’s defeat against Bayern Munich, Pedri told ESPN SportsCenter of Messi’s form:

“Messi’s form? He is a pure madness. I said many times how magnificent he is as a player or as a person, whole world knows about him. I’m happy for him.”

Lionel Messi
Pedri has shared the pitch with Lionel Messi 47 times as teammates at Barcelona. Credits: Twitter

Messi is hitting top gear with his club right when the FIFA World Cup is just three weeks away. The PSG superstar will be leading reigning Copa America champions Argentina in the global tournament next month as he looks determined to bring home the World Cup which he came close to in 2014. With the La Albiceleste on a 35 game unbeaten streak, and Lionel Messi firing on all cylinders, the other contenders must be sweating right now.

Meanwhile, Messi’s fanboy and former teammate Pedri is won’t be enjoying club as much as the Argentina international. Barcelona have been eliminated to the Europa League from Champions League for a second consecutive season, after they are set to finish third in their Group C which comprises of Bayern, Inter and Viktoria Plzen. The Catalan club has managed only one win across five games in the competition so far, and thus face a relegation to the second-tier Europa League.

On the other hand, Messi fired PSG to the knockouts, scoring 4 goals and providing 3 assists in 4 group games. However, with the final 12 months running of his PSG contract, it is being heavily speculated that he will return to Barca next summer as a free agent. But looking at the club’s current situation, it is highly unlikely a ‘last dance’ happens between Messi and Barcelona. Moreover, if all PSG manage lift their maiden Champions League trophy this season, then there’s no doubt Messi would love to stay in France.