Speaking in an interview with The Team (h/t GOAL) Former Barcelona striker Thierry Henry has called on fans to be patient with Lionel Messi as he ‘suffered emotionally’ leaving the Catalans in the summer.
The entire football community was in shock when it was confirmed that Messi would leave the Blaugrana on a free transfer last year after the club failed to renew his contract.
A tearful Messi bid farewell to the club and the fans at a press conference before joining Paris Saint-Germain on a two-year deal. The 34-year-old has had a slow start to life in Ligue 1 but has picked up form in recent weeks.
And, Henry, who played with Messi at Barcelona, has opened up about the Argentine’s issues while talking about mental health in sport, blaming his lack of form on the emotional turmoil he had to go through leaving the Catalan giants .
“You’d have to ask him, I can’t speak for him. But, when we talk about Messi or Neymar, who are exceptional players, we too often forget this aspect. said the Arsenal legend.
“When Lionel cried leaving Barcelona, that wasn’t part of the plan. When you think you’re never going to leave somewhere, and suddenly it happens, it creates an emotional shock. People say ‘he’s going well, it has everything you need in Paris”, but it’s not that simple.
Citing his own situation as an example, Henry added: “When I left Arsenal for Barcelona it took me a year to feel good. I arrived there with an injury, going through a divorce, I have to learn a new system, you mix it all up and it plays on the mind.
After a slow start to life at PSG, Messi has been finding his feet lately. He has scored seven goals and registered 11 assists in 24 games in all competitions.