Football Manager has anticipated Lionel Messi’s sensational debut season at PSG.

Lionel Messi has officially joined Paris Saint-Germain, with the club announcing that the former Barcelona captain has signed a two-year contract with the option of a third year.

It actually took place!

Lionel Messi has signed a two-year contract with Mauricio Pochettino’s Paris Saint-Germain, where he will team up with former Barcelona teammate Neymar and French wonderkid Kylian Mbappe.
Despite willing to halve his pay, Messi was forced to leave FC Barcelona this summer when the club was unable to comply with La Liga’s salary regulations due to of poor financial management under former president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
The 34-year-old scored 672 goals in 778 appearances for Barca, winning 35 titles during his 21-year stay at Camp Nou, which began when he was 13 old.
Messi, a six-time Ballon d’Or winner, will reconnect with Neymar, a close friend with whom he spent three at Barcelona before joining for £200 million in 2017, and whom he tried to persuade the Catalans to re-sign in 2019.

Messi is the club’s sixth acquisition for the 2021/22 season, following the free transfers of Gianluigi Donnarumma, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Sergio Ramos, as well as the £54 million signing of Achraf Hakimi from Inter Milan and the £15 million signing of Danilo Pereira from FC Porto.

So, now that Messi has been confirmed as a player, how do you think the 34-year-old will fare in his first season in the French capital?

To find out, we ran a simulation with Messi in the PSG lineup for the upcoming season to see what would happen.
Football Manager anticipated Lionel Messi’s first season at PSG.

We utilized the Football Manager 2021 editor to set up this scenario, arranging for Messi to join PSG ahead of next season.

To make the simulation as accurate as possible, we additionally updated all of the most recent transfers.

Despite joining a squad filled with world-class players, Messi stood out with a spectacular debut season and a key role in PSG’s historic 2021/22 season.

Let’s take a look at Messi’s PSG statistics from our simulated season.

In his first season, the Argentine international made 54 appearances in all competitions, 46 of which were starts, scoring 37 goals and registering 16 assists.

In Ligue 1, Messi was at his best, scoring 28 goals and adding 11 assists in just 28 starts and seven substitute appearances en route to winning the Golden Boot.

With an average match rating of 8.27, Messi was the best performance under Pochettino in the 2021/22 season, with Mbappe coming in second with an average match rating of 7.90.

Throughout the whole 2021/22 season in all competitions, Messi, Mbappe, and Neymar scored 92 goals and registered 55 assists, falling 30 goals short of the 122 goals Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar scored for Barcelona in the 2014/15 season.

Football Manager 2021 put produced an overall best PSG XI based on performances, statistics, and other factors at the end of the 2021/22 season.

According to Football Manager 2021, the best PSG XI in 2021/22 looked like this.
According to Football Manager 2021, the best PSG XI in 2021/22 looked like this.

Donnarumma; Hakimi, Ramos, Marquinhos, Bernat; Pereira, Wijnaldum, Herrera; Messi, Mbappe, Neymar; Pereira, Wijnaldum, Herrera; Messi, Mbappe, Neymar

So, how did PSG fare across the board in our simulated season with Messi in the lineup?

PSG’s season 2021/22 with Messi

After the simulation ended in May 2022, here is how the final 2021/22 league table looked.

PSG won Ligue 1 in 2021/22, ending as centurions with 101 points, a 19-point improvement over the previous season.

PSG scored 96 goals in the league, conceding only 16 in 38 games and ended with an 80 goal differential.

With their new recruits, PSG finished second last season with 86 goals scored and 28 goals conceded, demonstrating that they have improved dramatically in both attack and defense.

Pochettino’s squad won the Champions League for the , defeating Pep Guardiola’s side 1-0 in the final, with Messi scoring the game’s only goal.

PSG also won both domestic titles, with Messi playing a key role in both finals, as PSG defeated Lille 4-1 in the Trophee des Champions and Stade Rennes 4-2 in the Coupe de France.

PSG’s achievements in all competitions during their historic quadruple season.

PSG’s achievements in all competitions during their historic quadruple season. (Photo courtesy of Football Manager 2021)

Messi’s experience and extra quality helped PSG complete a historic quadruple-winning season, according to Football Manager 2021. Messi’s experience and extra quality helped PSG complete a historic quadruple-winning season, benefiting both Neymar and Mbappe’s performances throughout the 2021/22 season.

Messi’s efforts demonstrated that he can still play at the greatest level of club football, since he was the best performer in a -studded group that included Mbappe, Neymar, Ramos, and others.

What do you think Messi’s performance with PSG in the 2021/22 season will be like? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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