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Lionel Messi has reportedly ‘given up on winning the Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain‘ after the Ligue 1 giants crashed out of the competition again in March.
PSG were 2-0 up in their last-16 tie against Real Madrid and had just under half-an-hour to play at the Bernabeu before a stunning Karim Benzema hat-trick inside 18 minutes turned the tie on its head.
As a result, the French side – who had been cruising following earlier goals by Kylian Mbappe – were knocked out of the competition, with Messi’s hopes of lifting the Champions League trophy with PSG being crushed once again.
Lionel Messi (right) has reportedly given up on winning the Champions League with PSG
According to Mundo Deportivo via Football Espana, Messi will stay at Paris Saint-Germain next season but his hopes of being crowned Champions League winners with the French side have disappeared.
PSG’s quest for a maiden Champions League title will go on for at least another season, with their appearance in the 2020 final against eventual winners Bayern Munich still their best finish.
Rio Ferdinand refused to blame Mauricio Pochettino for PSG’s exit and said it was down to the ‘dysfunctional team’. Speaking on BT Sport he said: ‘Many managers have been there now and won the league and failed in the Champions League.
Messi has won the Champions League five times with Barcelona in the following seasons: 2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2014–15
However, Paris Saint-Germain giants crashed out of the competition again in March
‘We saw today how the team folded, and this isn’t just a one season episode, this is something that continually happens every single year where you go, ”do you know what, PSG with the talent they’ve got, especially in attacking areas, with the experience that they’ve got, an array of international big players they’ve got, they’re gonna have a chance of winning it”.
‘And they fall at the quarter-final, semi-final hurdles, they’ve lost in the final. This is something that just happens. [It is a] dysfunctional team, I think that sums it up quite well about the way that they play.
‘So I don’t think you can really point the finger too much at Pochettino when this has happened season after season.’
Rio Ferdinand refused to blame manager Mauricio Pochettino for Paris Saint-Germain’s exit
Meanwhile, Messi’s last Champions League triumph came in the 2014-15 season with Barcelona – who beat Juventus in the final.
The Catalan giants beat the Italian side 3-1, with goals scored by Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
The victory marked Messi’s fifth Champions League triumph – having previously won the competition in the following seasons: 2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2014–15, all with Barcelona.
Source: DailyMail Sports