Lionel Messi Set to Record 'Worst Season' as Achilles Injury Deals Another Blow to PSG Forward

© AP Photo / Jeremias GonzalezPSG's Lionel Messi warms up before the French League One soccer match between FC Lorient and Paris Saint-Germain at the Moustoir stadium in Lorient, western France, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021
PSG's Lionel Messi warms up before the French League One soccer match between FC Lorient and Paris Saint-Germain at the Moustoir stadium in Lorient, western France, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.04.2022
Lionel Messi may have been Barcelona's top scorer for fifteen consecutive seasons until he left for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) last summer, but his struggles in France have been well-documented. The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner has underachieved at the Parc des Princes, with his goal tally yet to break into double digits there.
The 2021-22 is set to become Lionel Messi's "worst season" since his debut for Barcelona in 2004. In an illustrious career spanning nearly two decades, it would be the first time when the Argentina superstar will have less than six goals in a full campaign.
Former footballers, including Brazilian great Ronaldinho have claimed that Messi is yet to get accustomed to life in the French capital.
Additionally, the way PSG play their football is completely different from Barcelona's style of play and that's why he's taking much longer time than expected in settling down in Mauricio Pochettino's side.
Overall, Messi has featured in 29 games across competitions for the French outfit and has only managed to hit the back of the net eight times.
But his numbers in Ligue 1 have been the real problem for both him and PSG as he has just three goals in front of his name in 21 appearances in the French league.
These figures could have looked much worse had he not become the top assist provider in Ligue 1. To date, he has registered 13 assists this term.
But as far as goals are concerned, this is by far Messi's worst season.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, right, and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo during the Champions League group G soccer match between FC Barcelona and Juventus at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.04.2022
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In his debut season at Barca in 2004-05, he scored a solitary goal, but during those 12 months, he only played in seven matches for the Blaugrana.
In the Catalan club's campaign the following term, Messi netted 6 goals in 17 games.
After that, the Argentina captain never slipped below the 10-goal mark at Camp Nou in the following 15 seasons.
Messi's best run in a La Liga campaign came in 2011-12, when he became the first player ever to hit 50 goals in a single season in Spain's premier domestic competition.
Despite Messi's record-breaking effort, the Catalans failed to win either the La Liga or the UEFA Champions League.
Even in his last term at the Spanish club, Messi succeeded in scoring 30 goals in 34 appearances.
Coming back to his current season with PSG, Messi's troubles have been confounded by an Achilles tendon (a tough band of fibrous tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone) injury in recent times.
He missed PSG's last game against Angers on Wednesday. And there's no confirmation about his participation in their next match against Lens on Saturday either.
With just five more games remaining in Ligue 1, including the PSG vs Lens fixture, in addition to question marks over his fitness, Messi may not be able to touch the figure of five goals in the French league this season.
If that happens, it would be a remarkable fall for a player, who has built his entire reputation by scoring goals, rather, by netting too many goals in what has been a great career so far.
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