Lionel Messi’s Ligue 1 stats look concerning after goalless performance for PSG vs Nice

  • Rob Swan
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Lionel Messi’s struggles in front of goal continued during Paris Saint-Germain’s 0-0 draw against Nice on Wednesday night.

The 34-year-old, who showed off his record-breaking seventh Ballon d’Or award to the Parc des Princes crowd before kick-off, played the full 90 minutes but was unable to inspire PSG to all three points.

For whatever reason, Messi has failed to hit the ground running in terms of goalscoring since his arrival in Paris.

In eight Ligue 1 appearances, the legendary Argentine forward has managed to score just one goal for his new employers.

Per WhoScored, Messi has now had 30 attempts at goal and only managed to net once in the league for PSG.

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And 95 Ligue 1 players have managed to score more than Messi so far this season.

Why is Messi struggling to score goals for PSG?

Messi, who netted an extraordinary 672 goals in 778 games for Barcelona, is one of the most prolific goalscorers in football history.

So why hasn’t he been able to find the back of the net more often in France’s top division?

The most obvious answer is that he’s still adapting to life at a new club, with new teammates in a new league.

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This is a player who, until the summer, had spent his entire career at the Camp Nou playing a certain brand of football.

When saying an emotional goodbye to Barça back in August, Messi made no secret of the fact that he wanted to stay at the club. He wasn’t ready to leave and neither were his family.

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Messi wants to return to Barcelona one day

Messi has already openly declared that he will return to Barcelona one day.

“I don't know if that’ll happen when my PSG contract is up,” Messi told SPORT, per The Mirror, in October. “What’s almost confirmed and certain is that we’ll return to Barcelona to live and our lives will be there.

“That’s what my wife and I want. I don’t know what’ll happen when my PSG contract ends, but we’ll go back to live in Barcelona.

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“I've always said I’d love to be able to help the club do well in any way that I can be useful. I’d love to be a technical director at some point.

“I don’t know if that’ll be at Barcelona or if it might work out differently.

“If the option is there, I’d love to contribute again in any way that I can because it’s the club that I love and I’d love it to keep doing well, growing and remain one of the best in the world.”

This begs the question: does he *really* want to be at PSG? He says he’s focused and committed but we’re still yet to see Messi at his world-class best at the Parc des Princes.

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How good was Messi against Nice?

That said, Messi was still handed an 8/10 rating from SofaScore for his overall performance against Nice on Wednesday.

His heat map shows that he was particularly involved in the right-midfield position. He’s clearly dropping deep and allowing Kylian Mbappe to take centre stage upfront.

Video: Messi's highlights for PSG vs Nice

His individual highlights from the game show that this wasn’t a bad performance by Messi, who registered a hat-trick of assists in PSG’s 3-1 win over Saint-Etienne last weekend, by any means.

Watch them here:

But PSG fans are expecting goals - and lots of them - from arguably the greatest footballer in history.

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