Emmanuel Petit, a former Arsenal midfielder, has strongly criticized Paris Saint-Germain fans for booing Lionel Messi and even urged the Argentinian to leave the club.
The Parc des Princes has witnessed a toxic atmosphere towards Messi in recent weeks, with the forward being jeered by supporters before games.
🚨🇦🇷 Leo Messi was booed by the Parc des Princes when the PSG XI was announced. pic.twitter.com/ZGAPWNqpjD
— EuroFoot (@eurofootcom) April 2, 2023
PSG fans boo Messi
It’s certainly puzzling behavior from the fans, given Messi’s legendary status in the game.
Despite his slow start to life in Paris, the 34-year-old has been showing signs of his world-class talent in recent games, scoring crucial goals against rivals Marseille and in the Champions League against RB Leipzig.
It remains to be seen whether PSG fans will turn their opinion around on the Argentine superstar, but it’s clear that Petit, at least, is not impressed with their treatment of him.
PSG fans whistling Lionel Messi 😮
(via taoualit__amar/Instagram) pic.twitter.com/UsOipUGA6X
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 3, 2023
It’s understandable that PSG fans might be frustrated with their team’s exit from the Champions League, especially with the expectation that having Messi in the team would lead to greater success in Europe.
However, it’s not fair to direct that frustration towards Messi himself or to boo him.
It’s also natural for fans to be concerned about Messi’s contract situation and whether he will remain at the club beyond the end of the season.
But until there is official confirmation about his future, it’s unfair to speculate or to treat him with disrespect.
L’Équipe reported this morning that Messi is close to leaving PSG, adding to the ongoing reports about his potential departure.
Petit criticises PSG fans
Former French midfielder Petit criticized the fans who booed Messi and advised him to leave the club. Petit, a World Cup winner who played for Monaco for nine years before winning the
Premier League with Arsenal under Arsene Wenger, also played for Barcelona and Chelsea before retiring.
When asked about Messi’s situation at PSG, Petit didn’t hesitate to express his opinion on the fans.
“When I hear that, for me it’s an insult to football,” Petit said onRMC.
“I know that today there is only a pack of dogs who only think of drooling on Neymar and Messi… If I have any advice for Messi: Get out of this club!
“This club is not a football club. It’s a pre-retirement club, even for 20-year-old players. No player has progressed since joining PSG, is it Messi’s fault? He’s a maestro with a stick, it’s up to him to have players around him who make the effort.
🚨 Emmanuel Petit (French legend): “When I see the whistles against Messi, it’s an insult to football. If I have any advice for Messi: get out of this club! PSG is not a football club!” @RMCsport 🗣️🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/MlNgQjTo2J
— All About Argentina 🛎🇦🇷 (@AlbicelesteTalk) April 3, 2023
“The Verratti’s etc… who always ask for the ball at their feet and never make a call. [Christophe] Galtier is right when he says that it is up to others to do this supersession.
“Only Parisian supporters don’t realize that you need to have a squad around Messi, something they don’t have and won’t have because they (the leaders) are bogus in their recruitment.”
Thierry Henry wants Messi back at Barcelona
Petit’s comments follow those made by French winger and Messi’s former teammate, Thierry Henry.
The former Arsenal player said while on punditry duty that he would like to see Messi finish his career back at Barcelona.
As speculation continues to grow over Messi’s future, could we see a homecoming for the Barcelona man before he calls time on an incredible career?