Lionel Messi has had a bittersweet relationship with the Parisian crowd. The seven times Ballon d’Or winner failed to become impactful with Paris Saint-Germain, and fans began to boo him after PSG’s UEFA Champions League exit in the round of 16.
The booing continued after the 35-year-old made his return from suspension against AC Ajaccio last weekend. During his ban, fans were even spotted protesting against the 2022 World Cup-winning captain outside of PSG headquarters.
PSG captain Marquinhos, who just signed a contract extension with PSG until 2028, has stepped up to defend his teammate. The 29-year-old Brazilian defender stated that he respects the fans’ right to protest peacefully; however, he doesn’t comply with them targeting a single player of the team.
🚨 OFFICIEL ! Marquinhos prolonge au PSG jusqu’en 2028 ! ❤️💙
— Actu Foot (@ActuFoot_) May 19, 2023
What did Marquinhos say?
In an interview with French TV channel L’Equipe, Marquinhos said the following:
“I always respect protests when they are peaceful, at the times and places where it is necessary. Above all, I ask the supporters not to target one player or another. It must always be collective. A player doesn’t walk on his own, he’s not going to do anything on his own.”
Marquinhos has warns fans off targeting Messi again.
"I always respect protests when they are peaceful, at the times and places where it is necessary," he told L'Equipe. pic.twitter.com/qSG0D42aS3
— (Fan) Leo Messi (@imessi) May 21, 2023
The hostile attitude of the Parisian crowd comes at a time when Lionel Messi is almost at the end of his contract. Messi signed for PSG following a failed contract negotiation with his former club, FC Barcelona, in 2021. He originally agreed to a two-year contract with a one-year extension.
Which clubs are interested in acquiring Lionel Messi?
Now, multiple clubs have shown interest in signing the famous Argentinian, including his former club FC Barcelona, who want the best player in the Catalan club’s history to have a last dance at Camp Nou.
On top of that, Saudi Pro League club Al-Hilal has offered a gigantic deal worth over $500 million a year to Lionel Messi, which will make him the highest-paid athlete ever.
There were rumors that PSG wanted to keep the seven times Ballon d’Or winners for at least another year; however, no official announcement has been made as of yet.
PSG is currently at the top of the Ligue 1 table, with 81 points in 35 games. Trailing them closely at No. 2 is RC Lens, who have 78 points with one more game played. Should PSG win the Ligue 1 title, Lionel Messi has the chance to become the most decorated player in the world alongside Dani Alves, who currently has 42 trophies for club and country to his name.