Lionel Messi is determined to continue in elite European competition next season, reports the BBC.
Messi’s time at Paris Saint-Germain has been relatively mixed. His debut campaign was underwhelming, recording 11 goals and 14 assists in all competitions – a strong return, but far below the astronomical standards he has set over the years.
This season, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has begun to hit the numbers expected of him. In 30 appearances, he has scored 18 goals and assisted 16. Additionally, his tally of 12 league assists is the joint-highest in Europe’s top five leagues.
Despite this form, the Argentinian was unable to make much of an impact in PSG’s Champions League round of 16 tie against Bayern Munich.
Les Parisiens were eliminated by the German giants, losing 3-0 on aggregate. Messi was criticised for his performances over the two legs.
The 35-year-old is out of contract in the summer, and there have been rumours that his time at the top may be coming to an end.
Major League Soccer club Inter Miami have been the most closely linked, while boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys have also been suggested.
However, the BBC claims Messi is eager to remain in the Champions League. The report states that he would prefer to stay at PSG, but he wants assurances that they can challenge at the top of Europe before making a decision.
If he opts against renewing his deal at the Parc des Princes, a return to Barcelona could be on the cards. The forward spent 17 years of his professional career at Camp Nou, scoring 672 goals and winning 21 major honours.
But a transfer back to Catalonia seems highly unlikely. La Blaugrana are struggling to comply with La Liga’s financial rules, limiting their influence in the transfer market.
Despite his disappointing displays against Bayern Munich, Messi has proved that he still has plenty left to offer at the highest level.
At the World Cup in Qatar, he captained Argentina to their third title, winning the Golden Ball after scoring seven and assisting three.
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