Maxime Gonalons, a midfielder for Clermont Foot, has declared Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain to be the best player on the planet. Frenchman, in awe of Argentine, said Messi was impossible to stop when in full speed. He has won the Ballon d’Or seven times.
Lionel Messi has gotten off to a fantastic start in 2022-23. Over the course of four games across all competitions, he has contributed four goals and two assists to PSG’s four straight triumphs.
After signing with Clermont Foot this summer, Gonalons spoke openly to the league’s official publication. At one point in the conversation, he was forced to identify the rival who had made the most impression on him. He confidently chose to bestow the accolade on Lionel Messi. A quote from what he had to say:
Lionel Messi, the greatest footballer on the planet! It’s hard to compare different eras, so I can’t say whether or not he’s the greatest player of all time, but he certainly deserves to be mentioned in that conversation.
He always seems to find a way to evade detection. He’s not a very fast runner, but when he has the ball, no one can stop him.
Messi was in the starting lineup for PSG’s season opener against Clermont Foot in 2022-2023 Ligue 1. The Argentine free spirit not only scored twice (one on an overhead kick) but also set up another goal, helping his club to a 5-0 victory.
Maxime Gonalons contends that Lionel Messi’s first-year adversity was par for the course. Messi departed Barcelona as a free agent last summer after 17 trophy-laden seasons and 45 total victories. A few days later, he signed with Paris Saint-Germain with high hopes, but he never really got going there.
The Argentinean took a lot of heat for his lackluster play in 2021-22, but Gonalons defended him by saying it was only human for a superstar to struggle. Gonalons analyzed the causes of Messi’s problems as follows:
Although he is of Argentinean descent, his many years of residence in Barcelona mean that he is just as much a native of Barcelona as he is of Argentina. Having been through the same thing myself when I left Lyon, I can empathize with what he went through when he left Barcelona.
If you’re going to spend 20 years in a club, you’re going to pick up a lot of routines. He had culture shock in Paris and had to learn to live inside a new norm. It’s another football, of course. He wasn’t used to getting struck so often in La Liga, and I remember his first game with PSG being in Reims and him getting hit twice or three times.
At the end of his speech, he said, “Even if he is one of the greatest players in history, it is normal to take time to adapt.”
Last year, Lionel Messi scored 11 goals in 34 appearances for Paris Saint-Germain. The French Ligue 1 accounts for only six of the goals (26 appearances).