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Lionel Messi’s last game for Paris Saint-Germain ends in defeat

Lionel Messi’s final game for Paris Saint-Germain ended in defeat as the Ligue 1 champion lost 3-2 at home to Clermont on Saturday.

Sergio Ramos, who was also playing his final match for the club, scored as did Kylian Mbappé to give PSG a 2-0 lead within 21 minutes, but mid-table Clermont fought back for an unlikely win.

PSG announced in a statement ahead of the match that Messi’s “adventure” with the club would conclude at the end of the season.

“I would like to thank Leo Messi for his two seasons in Paris. To see a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner in the Rouge & Bleu and at Parc des Princes, winning back-to-back Ligue 1 titles and inspiring our younger players has been a pleasure,” PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi said in the club’s statement.

“His contribution to Paris Saint-Germain and Ligue 1 cannot be understated and we wish Leo and his family all the best for the future.”

Less than six months ago, Messi was awarded the Golden Ball at the World Cup – the prize given to the best player in the tournament – ​​and led his country to World Cup glory.

But the former Barcelona star has had a difficult final season in Paris. Although he scored 21 goals and 20 assists in all competitions, helping the team to the Ligue 1 title, PSG again failed to progress beyond the last 16 of the Champions League, the trophy the club covets the most.

Some PSG fans have recently booed his name before and during matches, doing so again at his final match, according to Reuters.

And last month, signs of an increasingly fractious relationship between PSG and Messi were evident when he received a club-imposed suspension for taking an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia, resulting in a missed training session.

Speculation about his future has been rife amid rumors of a lucrative deal in the Middle East, but Messi’s representatives have repeatedly declined to comment on his career beyond PSG.

In a recent interview with CNN Sport’s Amanda Davies, the 35-year-old said he would continue playing while he was still enjoying it.

CNN’s Ben Church contributed to reporting.

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