Lionel Messi has been urged by player-turned-pundit Jerome Rothen to quit Paris Saint-Germain after just one season.
The Argentine striker signed a lucrative two-year contract last August after being sacked by Barcelona when the Spanish club realized they could not sign him.
It has been a matter of optimism that Messi will team up with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe at Parc des Princes, but they have played together for the first time due to illness and injury.
PSG had hoped to advance to the Champions League but were knocked out by Real Madrid in the last 16 after a 2-0 win in the second leg in Spain.
Messi has scored just two goals in Ligue 1, seven in all competitions, meaning that for the first time since 2005-06 in Barcelona, he could finish the season with just one goal.
“The love affair was never made with PSG,” Rothen said on his RMC Sports program. “For everyone’s sake, it should end in June.”
Barcelona have said they will not close the gate on Messi’s return to Camp Nou, as they appear to be in a better position to sign players.
That seems unlikely but it could be an option on the table if Messi admits his time in France was a rare career mistake.
Messi missed PSG’s weekend loss to Monaco due to flu but was able to travel to Argentina this week to join his national team.
He was forced to applaud during PSG’s 3-0 win over Bordeaux recently after exiting the Champions League, which is unusual for a player who used to be entertained by fans.
According to Rothen, who played for PSG’s first team from 2004 to 2009 and won 13 games in France, there was a questionable commitment from many South American stars at PSG.
“These things shock me,” said Rothen. “He is not the only one in the last few years who has worked like this with Paris Saint-Germain.
“It ‘s a shame the relationship [Messi] has with Paris Saint-Germain today. Will these 10 days [with Argentina] comfort him so that things can get better with PSG? I still have a lot of doubts about that.”