By India Today Sports Desk: Lionel Messi said he and his family struggled to adjust after moving to Paris Saint-Germain in 2021, and he said the boos and jeers directed at him towards the end of his stint were something teammates Kylian Mbappe and Neymar also experienced. The Argentine great did not renew his contract with PSG this month after two years, and he announced on June 7 that he would join MLS side Inter Miami, disappointing some fans.
While Messi scored 32 goals and assisted 35 times during his two seasons with the French champions, he fell out with the fans after failing to help the team advance past the Champions League last 16 round.
"My stay in Paris started with a very difficult adaptation, much more than I expected, even though I had people I knew in the dressing room. It was difficult to adapt, the change, arriving late, not having a pre-season, adapting to the new club, the new way of playing, new teammates, the city...It wasn't easy for me or for my family," he told BeIN Sports.
The welcome was "very nice," he said.
"And then people started to treat me differently, a part of the Paris fans started to treat me differently."
"There was a rift with a big part of the Paris fans, it was not my intention, far from it, it happened like that. It had happened before with Mbappe and Neymar and I know that's their way of doing things."
"I will remember all the people who respect me, as I have always respected everyone since I arrived, and that's all, it's an anecdote."
Messi, who won two league titles and the French Super Cup with PSG, was also heavily chastised in Paris after the club suspended him for an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia.
After much speculation linking Messi to a return to Barcelona, the world champion is set to make his Miami debut on July 21 in a Leagues Cup match against Mexican side Cruz Azul.