06 Aug 2021 4:54 PM +00:00

We made Messi a Free Agent on FM21... and this is who he signed for

Where will Lionel Messi go?

It's on everyone's lips as the GOAT leaves Barcelona, with the La Liga powerhouse not having the sufficient funds to re-sign the little master.

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So we've put Messi's next club in the hands of the ultimate football simulator, Football Manager...

Adios, Barca

We couldn't start the season at the end of 20/21, so we simmed through the first campaign, and it was a bizarre season for Barcelona.

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GAME OVER - Messi as a free agent, it's quite hard to believe

The Catalans were involved in a classic La Liga title race, finishing in third place, but just three points off champions Real Madrid.

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Clearly, their Champions League (or European Champions Cup) run didn't go so well, knocked out at the group stage for the first time in their history, but going on to win the Europa League (EURO Cup).

It was a poor campaign by Messi's standard, netting just 23 goals in all competitions, and notching 10 assists - a new challenge was needed.

Bonjour, Paris

We couldn't wait to see who Messi would sign for - and it's no surprise - the Argentine signed for Paris Saint-Germain to link up with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

The Parisians not only managed to claim him on a free - but also secured for reasonable wages (by Messi's standards) of £170,000 a week.

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ARCHITECT - Messi was creator rather than goalscorer in his first season at PSG

With that glittering attacking trio, PSG would have set front three - but it looks like the owners could smell blood - also bringing in Spurs frontman Harry Kane for £98 million, and former player Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a free transfer as a plan B off the bench.

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PSG's spending wasn't done there, with Juan Cuadrado arriving from Juventus and Luis Alberto from Lazio.

With so much attacking talent, PSG are prepped to take over Europe - but how would they get all their stars on the pitch.

Too much of a good thing?

It will come with little surprise that PSG lifted the 2021/22 Ligue 1 title - but that was the club's only silverware of the season.

In the French Cup, they crashed out to Strasbourg in penalties - but the focus was on Europe, reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Barca lost 6-2 to Juventus, with Cristiano Ronaldo getting one over his GOAT rival.

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X FACTOR - Pochettino's decision to line up with five attackers cost them a place in the Champions League final

A red card to Mbappe early on in the second leg proved crucial, with Messi PSG's highest-rated player in both legs.

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We can also learn how manager Mauricio Pochettino tried to fit all his attacking talents in, with Messi operating as a deep-lying playmaker alongside Marco Verratti in central midfield.

As for Messi's return - he bagged 18 goals in the season, including an impressive 19 assists - showing his worth in midfield.

The magician didn't play a single game for Argentina over the season, suggesting he has retired from national team duty.