'Stop Piling on Stress...': French Football Pundit Explains What's Changed for Lionel Messi at PSG
16:30 GMT 01.03.2022 (Updated: 07:02 GMT 02.03.2022)
For more than a decade and a half, Lionel Messi scored a plethora of goals, leading some to describe him as the best player in the world. So outstanding was his performance at Camp Nou that he was Barcelona's top goal scorer for 15 years in a row. However, all that changed after he left the Catalan giants and joined Paris Saint-Germain last summer.
French football expert Habib Beye has defended seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi's record at PSG, saying the Argentine has been playing well and hasn't been at all out of form, contrary to what the world's media would have its audience believe.
Moreover, the pundit even claimed that the reason the legendary footballer was struggling to net goals was the change in his role at the Parc des Princes.
While in Spain, Messi was a prolific scorer; in Paris, he has adapted wonderfully well to a new responsibility which is to facilitate his much younger colleague Kylian Mbappe.
Like the France international, the 34-year-old sits on top of the assists leaderboard in Ligue 1 with both men recording 10 assists each.
And Beye believes that Messi's transition from a scoring giant to a playmaker wasn't all that bad for the Paris-based club. In fact, he argued that it was just what the club needed, with Mbappe leading PSG's attack, and people should get accustomed to the new Messi in France.
"We have to stop expecting Messi to be the same as he was in Barcelona. It will be different here at Paris Saint-Germain. What I like with Leo Messi at the moment is the frequency of support. We see it differently," Beye told French network Canal+.
During the weekend, the ex-Barca frontman was once again at the forefront of helping Mbappe, his two assists playing a key role in his teammate's brace of goals and, ultimately, PSG's 3-1 win over Saint-Etienne.
"I found him very good against Saint-Etienne in what he brings to PSG and in his frequency of support. He has this ability to change pace. In number 10, when he picks up, he is able to play the PSG game. It is very encouraging for the future," Beye added.
"He raises his level of play and takes an increasingly important place in constructing the PSG game. Very happy to see Lionel Messi at a high level and who now hopes that it will last for PSG, especially in the Champions League," he concluded.