Jamie Carragher’s scathing verdict on "passenger" Lionel Messi after PSG defeat

Jamie Carragher has launched a scathing attack on Lionel Messi after the six-time Ballon d'Or winner struggled to make an impact in Paris Saint-Germain's damaging defeat to Manchester City.

Goals from Raheem Sterling and substitute Gabriel Jesus sealed the 2-1 comeback win for Pep Guardiola's side at the Etihad Stadium in the Champions League on Tuesday night in a dominant display.

French superstar Kylian Mbappe put the Parisians ahead against the run of play shortly after half time before City's two-goal turnaround saw last season's runners-up guarantee a top spot finish in Group A and qualification for the Champions League last 16.

Summer signing Messi, who joined on a high-profile free transfer from cash-strapped Barcelona, struggled to make an impact as he continued to look out-of-sorts in PSG's star-studded side.

Former Liverpool centre back turned top pundit Carragher didn't hold back as he slated the performances of PSG's iconic attacking trio of Messi, Neymar and Mbappe, accusing them of being "passengers" and letting their teammates down.

"I just don’t believe teams can carry anybody now," Carragher told Paramount Plus. "Let’s say the four teams who I think one of them will win the Champions League – Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea or Bayern Munich – they do not carry one passenger in the team.

"They [PSG] are carrying three, they’ve got absolutely no chance of winning the Champions League, Paris Saint-Germain, absolutely no chance.

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"I get frustrated watching it because with Mbappe more than anybody. I can almost understand Messi to a certain extent, he’s 34, he has to save himself for certain moments, I still don’t think they can carry him, let’s not forget Barcelona haven’t won a Champions League for a long time.

"But Mbappe is 22, he should be sprinting back and getting back helping his teammates against a top Man City team. This thing about walking around the pitch, it’s not for me.

Continuing his rant, Carragher compared the work-rate of PSG's famous front three to some of the other top teams around Europe, emphasising how important teamwork is in the quest for Champions League glory.

"When I see [Mohamed] Salah and [Sadio] Mane for Liverpool sprinting everywhere, I see [Kevin] De Bruyne, I see Mahrez, Raheem Sterling the same, Thomas Muller for Bayern Munich, [Robert] Lewandowski," he added.

"I just can’t accept, I don’t care how good they are, that they don’t work for the team. The days of carrying passengers are long gone.

"And that’s why the best three teams in Europe right now – four teams as Chelsea are Champions League winners – the other teams won’t win it.

"I’ve said this about [Cristiano] Ronaldo as well but at least Ronaldo is getting goals. Ronaldo is a passenger without the ball, his goals are making up for that at this minute.

"In the Champions League games, certainly tonight their goals haven’t made up for it. Unless you score, you’re carrying passengers, and at this level of football you’ll have no chance, Manchester United won’t win the Champions League."

Despite assembling one of the most expensive squads in world football following their mega-money takeover back in 2011, the Champions League has continued to elude PSG, with the 2020 final defeat to Bayern Munich the closest they have come to winning the most iconic trophy in European football.

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