End of an Era: Messi to leave PSG while Benzema looks set for Saudi move

End of an Era: Messi to leave PSG while Benzema looks set for Saudi move

Two heavyweights of European football, Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema, look set to bid farewell to football in the continent after glittering careers. Messi and Benzema, who have scored more than 1100 goals between them in European football over the past 19 years, both look set to move to Saudi Arabia with Messi’s departure from PSG confirmed earlier this afternoon.

After a turbulent few months in the French capital, which saw the Argentinian suspended for two weeks following an unsanctioned trip to Saudi Arabia in April, Christophe Galtier announced today that the 35-year-old will be leaving when his contract expires later this month.

Messi joined PSG two years ago but has failed to impress the club’s supporters with the club having to increase security at his home following some poor performances this season. Messi arrived to much fanfare but failed to strike up a connection with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar and ultimately his time in Paris will be looked at as the one blemish in an otherwise faultless career.

Speaking about Messi, Galtier said:

“I had the privilege of coaching the best player in the history of football. This will be his last match at the Parc des Princes and I hope that he will receive the warmest of welcomes.”

Where does Messi go from here?

After winning the World Cup with Argentina in December, there is a feeling that Lionel Messi has taken his foot off the gas and is beginning to wind down. In truth, who can blame him? He has lit up football stadia across Europe since 2004 and the World Cup triumph cemented him as the greatest player of all time.

With nothing else to achieve in European football, speculation has been rife about his next move. Will he return to Barcelona and end his career with the club where he won everything? Will he return to Argentina to sign off in his home country? Or will he be drawn to the riches of Saudi Arabia and play out his final few years in luxury?

According to the most recent reports, it appears that Saudi side, Al-Hilal have offered Messi a contract that has proven to be too good to turn down. Spanish journalist, Guillem Balagué, has reported that Messi has agreed a ludicrous two-year deal with the club that will see him earn over £800m. It blows Cristiano Ronaldo’s deal with All Nassr out of the water and will make Messi the highest-paid athlete in the world.

Benzema to join Messi in Saudi Arabia

Karim Benzema is also expected to end the speculation around his future late today, too. The French centre forward is out of contract with Real Madrid in the summer and news coming out of Spain this afternoon indicates that he is set to formally announce his departure from the club later today.

Benzema has played for the Spanish side since 2009 and has an incredible five Champions League winners medals to his name. After playing in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo for so long, Benzema took on the mantle of the club’s main man when Ronaldo departed the club in 2018 and took his game to new heights. He will go down as one of the very best players to ever wear the famous white shirt.

Like Messi, the Frenchman is also expected to move to Saudi Arabia. Al Ittihad are said to have offered him a deal worth £85m per season and he is ready to accept.

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