It’s official: Lionel Messi’s time with Paris Saint-Germain has come to an end. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will leave the French club after two years, PSG head coach Christophe Galtier confirmed Thursday.
“I had the privilege of coaching the best player in the history of football. The match against Clermont [on Saturday, the team’s last of the season] will be Leo’s last match at the Parc de Princes,” he said. PSG locked up an 11th Ligue 1 title last weekend.
It’s still unknown where Messi will play next; ESPN reported in April that he was considering a move to Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal, the rival club of Al Nassr where Cristiano Ronaldo currently plays.
On Wednesday French newspaper L’Equipe reported that Messi’s former club Barcelona and MLS’s Inter Miami want to close a deal in which the player would sign with the MLS franchise and join Barça on a loan for between six and 18 months.
On May 2, PSG suspended Messi for two weeks for missing training while he was fulfilling his sponsorship contract as a Saudi ambassador in Saudi Arabia, but his suspension was cut short.
Messi left Barcelona, his long-time club, in 2021 after the club announced there was no room within the LaLiga’s salary limits to sign him. In the summer of 2021, he joined PSG on a two-year contract worth €30 million a year, with an option of a third year.
Until leaving Barcelona in 2021, Messi spent 20 years with the Catalan team, where he won 34 trophies, including ten LaLiga titles, seven Copa del Rey titles and three UEFA Champions Leagues.
He also won the 2021 Copa América and 2022 FIFA World Cup with his country.
Messi is the seventh highest-paid athlete of all time according to Sportico, with $1.22 billion in career earnings.
He was also the third among the world’s highest-paid soccer players in 2022 for earning $110 million a year, including nearly $50 million from sponsors including Adidas, Budweiser, Mastercard, PepsiCo and Socios.