Lionel Messi has not played in the UCL quarter-final since the 2019-2020 season, his end continues

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Lionel Messi played 90 minutes in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 and failed to help Paris Saint Germain to conquer Real Madrid.

During the game, the 34-year-old Argentine football icon made some brilliant runs but the extra effect expected from a prime Messi was not completely seen. Hence, in his presence, PSG blew away a 2-0 lead to end their journey in this season’s UEFA Champions League campaign 3-2 on aggregate.

The fact that Messi had to leave this season’s Champions League campaign in the round of 16 reminded his critics of the woes the 34-year-old Argentine footballer has been facing in the tournament.

Recall that the last time Lionel Messi lifted the UEFA Champions League title was in 2015 at FC Barcelona. After that, Messi has not been so privileged to play in the final of the tournament again.

It got so bad for the 34-year-old Argentine footballer that the last time he played in the quarter-final stage of the tournament was in the 2019-2020 season. Recall that Barca met Bayern Munich in the round and the German club knock them out 8-2 on aggregate.

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The defeat was so humiliating that Lionel Messi tendered a request to the management of the club that he wanted to leave at the end of the 2019-2020 season. Unfortunately for him, the club refused to let him go.

In the 2020-2021 season, FC Barcelona met with Paris Saint Germain in the UEFA Champions League round of 16. Unfortunately for Messi again, the French club knocked them out 5-2 on aggregate.

Hence, when FC Barcelona failed to renew his contract after the 2020-2021 season due to financial complications, Lionel Messi decided to join PSG on a free transfer. He chose PSG over other clubs that wanted to sign him then because he felt the French club had all it takes to help him win another UEFA Champions League title. But that has proven to be false so far.

Hence, in less than a season at PSG, rumors have started flying that the record seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is considering leaving the French club.

Since he joined PSG, Messi has managed seven goals and provided 11 assists in 25 games in all competitions.

Has Lionel Messi achieved enough to retire from football?

Lionel Messi has been playing professional football since July 1, 2005, which means that he has been in the game for over 17 years.

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He spent most of the years mentioned above at FC Barcelona where he won a club-record 35 trophies and a world record seven Ballon d’Or.

Due to his achievements on and off the pitch, most football enthusiasts believe that he is one of the greatest footballers of all time if not the greatest.

Before, the argument was that Messi has not won any major title for his country, Argentina. But the football icon has put that argument to rest by helping Argentina to win the 2021 Copa America.

Aside from awards and trophies, Lionel Messi has made a lot of money from football. He has earned over one billion dollars from playing football alone which made him the second player after Cristiano Ronaldo to achieve the rare feat.

Based on the contract he signed with PSG in August 2021, reports claimed that Lionel Messi is expected to earn at least $110 million within three seasons which makes him one of the highest-paid athletes in the world. His contract with the French club will expire on June 30, 2023.

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It might interest you to note that Messi has scored 679 club goals and provided 314 assists for Barca and PSG in a total of 803 club appearances. He has also scored 80 international goals in 158 games for Argentina.

Hence, if Lionel Messi wants to retire from football any moment from now, his name will never wash away from the sand of time. But all things being equal, he might want to play for three to four more years before he hangs his boots.

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