Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi claims that the club has “never been so united” following Lionel Messi and Neymar’s departures. Both players sought an exit this summer and have since voiced their displeasure against their time in Ligue 1.
PSG faced a dramatic summer transfer window that saw a number of high-profile incomings and outgoings. The club acquired Randal Kolo Muani, Ousmane Dembele and Lucas Hernandez, to name but a few, for lucrative sums to bolster the squad.
The window also saw the club fail to trigger Kylian Mbappe’s contract extension clause and had superstar duo Messi and Neymar both depart. The pair went to MLS side Inter Miami and Saudi Pro League team Al Hilal respectively.
Following their exits both players had shone a negative light on their time at the club. Their comments are something that PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has taken umbrage with after making a dig in a recent interview, claiming that the squad is now more harmonious now that the duo have left.
“Kylian Mbappe is an incredible player and a fantastic person,” he told Record. “And the Paris Saint-Germain team, on and off the pitch, has never been so united, which I think was possible to see last weekend, during the game against Lyon.
“This year, in the new Paris Saint-Germain cycle, we are focusing less on results and more on performance and our style of play. If we do that, the results will appear accordingly. We have a fantastic coach and sporting director and I’m very happy with the spirit found at PSG.”
Al-Khelaifi’s comments come after Neymar admitted that both he and Messi “lived through hell” at the Parisian club. When asked about Messi’s departure from the team in an interview with Globo, he admitted: “I was very happy for the year he had, but at the same time very sad.
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“Because he lived both sides of the coin, he went to heaven with the Argentina team, won everything in recent years, and with Paris he lived hell. We lived through hell, both he and I. We get upset, because we’re not there for nothing.
“We’re there to do our best, be champions, try to make history, that’s why we started playing together again, we came together there so we could make history. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it.”
Messi also made a dig at PSG in his first interview after joining Inter Miami. “I didn’t want to leave [Barcelona] for PSG and that was [an] overnight [decision],” he said.
“I wanted to stay in Barcelona, but I had to get used to a different place, a different place from the one I had lived in terms of the city. It was difficult in Paris, but it is quite the opposite what is going on with me here and now.”
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