Ex-Barcelona chief Rexach: Messi unhappy at PSG with their team of mercenaries

Former Barcelona sporting director Carles Rexach isn’t convinced by Lionel Messi’s departure for PSG in August.

Rexach is a huge figure in the history of FC Barcelona for many reasons. Among other roles, he was a player, coach, scout, sporting adviser and Johan Cruyff’s assistant. Famously, he travelled to Rosario and secured the signature of a young Messi on a restaurant napkin. The rest, as they say, is history, but a twist in the fairytale last summer saw the forward depart Catalonia and join Paris Saint-Germain, something Rexach clearly laments.

“We still don’t know the truth about Messi’s exit and I’m sure it will come out in time,” Rexach told Super Radio Deportivo in Argentina.

“I would have liked him to retire at Barcelona. A man who was born here, I’d have liked him to retire playing seriously, properly… here.

“Messi should win the World Cup and retire. He deserves it.”

Rexach also commented on the vastly different situation his former protégé finds himself in at PSG compared to Barcelona. He believes the 34-year-old is having a tough time in Paris, where a team of individual stars lacks a common identity.

“Messi is suffering at PSG, it’s a team of mercenaries,” said Rexach.

“They don’t play beautiful or spectacular football or even as a team, they win because one day up pops Neymar, the next it’s Messi, then [Kylian] Mbappe, and they get it done, but they don’t have an identity as a team.

“Messi is obliged to return to Barcelona in whatever role he wants. I’d love him to stay and live in Barcelona. His footballing life has to end here.”

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