Christophe Galtier has no reservations over Lionel Messi’s commitment to Paris Saint-Germain after their Champions League exit, despite the Argentine entering the final four months of his contract.
Messi is yet to agree fresh terms with PSG ahead of his deal expiring at the end of June, while former Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos is in a similar situation.
Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 elimination at the hands of Bayern Munich has led to suggestions PSG’s star-studded forward line of Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar may be broken up as part of a rebuild.
Despite PSG’s early European exit, Galtier does not expect the likes of Messi and Ramos – both of whom have been linked with a move to MLS – to lower their standards in the coming weeks.
“There is no doubt about these two great players with incredible track records, who know this kind of situation,” Galtier said at a press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Brest.
“They are very high-level players, who go quickly from one game to another. Regarding their contractual situations, they are used to living in this kind of moment.”
Bayern Munich 2-0 Paris Saint-Germain: Only Arsenal (177 excl. qualifiers) have played more UEFA Champions League games than Paris Saint-Germain (137) without ever winning the trophy. PSG can now add some more games to that next season. pic.twitter.com/M61gFleXL4
— Opta Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) March 8, 2023
Galtier also denied there was a need to convince Mbappe to remain at the Parc des Princes, with PSG’s latest Champions League failure increasing speculation he could seek an exit.
“I don’t have to try to convince Kylian Mbappe,” Galtier said. “Kylian is a Paris Saint-Germain player, he shows it every time he plays, and he has a great determination to succeed and take the club as high as possible.”
PSG must now shift their focus to Ligue 1, with Galtier’s men holding an eight-point advantage at the summit as they chase a record-breaking 11th French title.
Galtier believes PSG’s achievements in the competition have been unfairly belittled, highlighting the celebrations that accompany Bayern’s regular Bundesliga successes and calling for the French top flight to receive greater respect.
“If PSG win this title, it will be the 11th, which has never been reached in this country,” he said. “We should not minimise this achievement.
“Some of our players have extraordinary records but are obsessed with adding this trophy, some haven’t won it before. It’s a very important thing.
“You all send out the message that this league title is easy, but it isn’t. I see what’s happening abroad. Bayern don’t win the Champions League every year.
“But every time they win their league, they have a big celebration, they share it with their supporters and everyone at the club.
“It must be the same with us. We need to stop trivialising being French champions. It is not easy.”
Preparing for Brest. @qatarairways I #SB29PSG pic.twitter.com/RhzVXOSWws
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) March 10, 2023
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