Lionel Messi’s stint in France ended on a bitter note after his side Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) faced a 2-3 defeat at the hands of Clermont Foot in their last fixture of this season’s Ligue 1. Messi failed to find the back of the net in front of the home crowd during his side’s loss. PSG fans jeered when the Argentine’s name was announced one final time at the Parc des Princes. The striker was also booed by PSG supporters after missing a golden chance to score a goal in the second half.
With Messi’s current contract with PSG set to end this month, the 35-year-old is believed to be on the verge of joining Saudi Arabia side Al Hilal in the summer. It seems Messi’s transfer news has heavily impacted PSG’s social media presence. PSG have lost around a million followers on Instagram in the last few days. A report published by Goal.com claims that the Paris giants have seen their follower count drop by at least 800,000 over this weekend. The club currently boasts over 69 million followers on Instagram.
A series of tweets claimed the same, though they quoted different numbers vis-à-vis the followers PSG lost. Khaleej Times could not independently verify the claims.
📲 Around 600K people unfollowed PSG’s Instagram after Lionel Messi's last game. pic.twitter.com/9sMNVz6kaC
— Football Talk (@FootballTalkHQ) June 4, 2023
Within 15 hours of announcing the departure of Leo Messi, Paris Saint-Germain have lost over 1 Million followers on Instagram. 📉 pic.twitter.com/YF3qR28RyW
— Managing Barça (@ManagingBarca) June 4, 2023
Lionel Messi is one of the most popular sports personalities on Instagram. He has 467 million followers on the social media platform.
Lionel Messi is expected to leave PSG, having won the second Ligue 1 title. After playing 75 matches, Messi netted 32 goals for PSG over two seasons. He registered 16 goals and as many assists in the Ligue 1 this time. Messi’s impressive performance guided PSG to the domestic title this season but the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner still could not avoid the wrath of the Paris-based side’s fans.
PSG coach Christophe Galtier appeared to be quite disappointed with fans’ unpleasant reaction towards Messi. “I find that the whistles are very hard. Like the season, there are good times and bad times. I don’t know for what reasons, maybe I will find them in the coming weeks, to understand the whistles against Leo. He has always behaved well, he is a great professional, he has played a lot, with this World Cup in the middle, he has impressive stats. He has the art of dribbling, of passing. I insist, Leo worked throughout the season,” Galtier reportedly said.
A report published by news agency AFP claims that club officials of Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal have landed in France to make an attempt to secure a deal for Messi, following the game between PSG and Clermont Foot. The report suggests that the Saudi side plans to meet Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, in order to complete the signing.
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