Lionel Messi admits he’s had a ‘difficult adjustment’ in France

(CNN) — Lionel Messi has had trouble adjusting to a new environment at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) after moving to the French club in 2021, the Argentine forward said in a interview with beIN Sports airing this week.

Messi won two league titles during his time at PSG, scoring 21 goals and providing 20 assists in all competitions last season.

However, he failed to lead the club to Champions League success and his time in the French capital ended acrimoniously when he was suspended for making an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia, for which he later apologized .

Lionel Messi attends the Ligue 1 match between PSG and Clermont Foot on June 3. Julian Finney/Getty Images

“The truth is, it’s been a very difficult adaptation, much more than I expected,” Messi told beIN of his move to PSG two years ago.

“Despite having people I knew in the locker room and having a relationship with them, it was difficult for me to adjust to the new change, being late and not having the preseason.

“Well, adapting to the new club, to a new way of playing, to my new team-mates and to the city was very difficult for me and for all my family in the beginning.”

Earlier this month, Messi announced he was moving to the club. between miami from MLS and will reportedly make his US debut in July.

The 36-year-old, who spent 17 seasons at FC Barcelona before joining PSG, has not always been well received by fans in France and has even been booed in some of his recent matches.

Messi during his presentation at PSG’s Parc des Princes in August 2021. Credit: Paris Saint-Germain Football/Getty Images

“I think from the beginning it was something very nice, like the welcome, which I have said many times,” added Messi.

“So, people started treating me differently, a part of the Parisian public. I think the vast majority continue to see and treat me as they did in the beginning but there was a disconnect with a large part of the Parisian fans, which obviously wasn’t my intention, far from it,” she commented.

“It happened just like it had before with [los compañeros de equipo Kylian] Also Mbappé and Neymar. And I know that’s his way, what we’re going to do to him. I’m staying with all the people who have respected me, as I’ve always respected everyone since I arrived and it’s nothing more than an anecdote.”

CNN has contacted PSG for comment.

CNN’s David Close and Ray Sanchez contributed to the report.

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