All eyes are eager awaiting Paris Saint-Germain’s UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match-up against Real Madrid next month and it is at this penultimate encounter the capital club will be anxiously needing the real Lionel Messi to show up.
It was only last summer the French juggernauts landed Messi, the pivotal piece capable to deliver the coup des grace to their aspirations of winning the Champions League. However, former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, in his interview with Le Parisien, opted to think that Messi isn’t enough to win the tournament.
“They recruited Messi, but he is not the one who will make them win the Champions League,” Evra said. “It is a collective, a mental state of the entire team as a whole. It is not easy at all; I played five finals and lost four.”
When compelled to reflect on the former Man United’s erstwhile defender – who incidentally is the self-same unfortunate soul who had incurred the wrath of Messi’s former Barcelona strike-mate and best buddy Luis Suarez when the latter was with Liverpool and sank his infamous fangs into the United player’s shoulder during an encounter on the pitch – one is perhaps inclined to say that is way out of his element in being so presumptuous as to indirectly invoke a comparison between himself and the former Barca skipper and talisman .
“I played five finals and lost four,” he had said.
First and foremost, despite having being entitled to a smattering of bragging rights for his service to the Manchester club during his time at Old Trafford, Evra was, and still is, by any measure deserving of any comparisons with the footballer many consider the greatest who’d ever put on a pair of football boots in the history of the game. The self-beguiled former defender should be so thankful that he’d even actually been part of a team that in those days indeed possessed the resources, footballing talents and the guidance of arguably one of the best managers in the game to win the top European honors once.
In Evra’s case, not that he was the chosen one by any measure on whom fell the main responsibility and honor of ensuring the final victory, he was clearly just another piece on the chessboard wearing the United coat of armor. It is indeed outrageous for the defender to even presume to comment on the stature and ‘insufficiency’ of Messi to pull off the Champions League final top honors for PSG.
Secondly, the great man Messi himself would be the last one ever to dare presume that he alone, or anyone else for that matter, would be able to pull of a one-man feat of accomplishing top European honors. Unlike a dolt like the former United defender, the current PSG striker is well aware of the heavy responsibility lumped upon his shoulders as a main decisive factor in the new Messi-Neymar-Mbappe triumvirate at the Parisien club and that it is essentially a united team effort that would be required to achieve their aspirations of winning the title.
Despite having long been chasing the dream of winning the Champions League and in 2020 came whisper close to pulling it off as they reached the final but fell to Bayern Munich., nonetheless the Ligue 1 runaway leaders are hopeful Messi can still be the x-factor this season to lead them to the trophy this season.
Messi has won the competition four times and is desirous of landing another elusive Champions League trophy, and despite being 34-years-old, he definitely still has what it takes to help elevate a squad to win a major trophy, which he did last summer for Argentina. He might have taken a bit of time to crank up the old Messi engine but don’t ever doubt that he is beyond pulling off another miraculous La Pulga achievement to stun the world.
Furthermore, it helps that PSG did draw a team Messi has experience playing against and has had success, so Les Parisiens hope that the former Barcelona star can have that magic to take down Real Madrid.