Yes, Messi must present the World Cup at the Parc / France / Paris Saint-Germain / Jan 3, 2023 /

Yes, Messi must present the World Cup at the Parc / France / Paris Saint-Germain / Jan 3, 2023 /

The idea that Lionel Messi could celebrate his world title in France, in the Parisian enclosure, shocked many sorrowful spirits after the unhappy final of the Blues. But, in many ways, presenting the trophy would not be indecent, given what has become of modern football, PSG and even this World Cup.

The rumor shook social media a bit right after the sad finale. Lionel Messi would have asked to present the World Cup trophy at the Parc des Princes, in the colors of his club, PSG. Although quickly denied on both sides, this information aroused many indignant reactions. It occurred, it is true, while the Argentines threw themselves into each other without much moderation or restraint, not to mention respect for the defeated French team. Their success was clearly our failure. Kylian Mbappé had notably served as a scapegoat, sometimes with racist overtones from some of certain fans of Albiceleste. This climate made it altogether improbable, if not impossible, an emotional sequence in Paris around Lionel Messi. The reaction of the public, even of the politicians who so easily play the patriotic rope in football, would have inevitably turned this moment into a fair of hostility and demagoguery. Neither the Pulga nor the management of PSG are so masos to have considered it seriously. At least, it is to be hoped.

Capitalism has no nation

However, on the merits such a gesture, lifting the World Cup in front of the stands of the Parc des Princes, would prove to be irrational or illogical. Of course, despite QSI’s desire to take over, the capital’s stadium remains an emblematic place in French sport, where many glorious pages have been written. And the “profane” to honor a coronation won at the expense of the national team would symbolically constitute blasphemy, much stronger even than the Portuguese triumph in 2016 at the Stade de France against the men of Didier Deschamps. However, it must remain frustrating for the Qatari owner of PSG to be deprived of this obvious consecration of his football investment strategy. In terms of storytelling, relations with the supporters or even the basket of VIP guests (political or otherwise), it would have been much more profitable for the child of Bondy, so dearly kept in the workforce, to go around the field with the trophy in the arm. However, the arrival of the Argentinian also responded to this type of project. In the absence of a C1, Ballons d’Or and therefore a World Cup. Moreover, that of Qatar. A nice revenge for the emirate which felt decried in France on this occasion (well, by some media and NGOs, but it was apparently too much).

To imagine PSG exclusively as a “French” club is in fact to understand nothing of the evolution of the nature and functioning of professional football in Europe since the Bosman judgment and since the massive arrival of foreign investors, and especially recently in Ligue 1. Capitalism recognizes success and ignores nations. It is not a question of neglecting the sensitivity of those who would have been upset by such a “home” scene, who would have taken it as an additional nail driven into national pride. In return, that a great player like Lionel Messi, so well paid and in the process of negotiating his extension, can thank his employer by providing him with proof of the last line of his prestigious CV is ultimately nothing surprising. He would certainly have accomplished it at the Nou Camp. We can rejoice that the national dike still holds, without being fooled by the hypocrisy that coats this no-show.

By Nicolas Kssis-Martov