Ever since rumors of Lionel Messi’s unsettledness at Barcelona started surfacing, PSG have been right up there to take advantage of the Argentine’s expiring contract. The French outfit came really close to acquiring Messi’s services last season when the latter made his desire to leave Catalonia public. At the time, Barcelona succeeded in keeping their talisman at bay, due to a technicality in his contract, preventing Messi from leaving for free on his own accord.
Nevertheless, things have quickly turned sour and in an unfortunate turn of events, the Catalan club were forced to release their all-time top scorer, this time against the Argentine’s wishes. And yet again, PSG seem to be his favorite destination.
Barcelona and PSG over the years
A Champions League edition without hosting at least one match between Barcelona and PSG seems unfathomable, with the two European stalwarts having met on 12 different occasions in the competition’s history.
10 of the aforementioned encounters came in the form of various knockout games, while the remaining two came when both teams were drawn in the same group in 2015. At the time of writing, PSG and Barcelona seem to share the spoils with each side winning four and drawing four. An ancient rivalry indeed.
Coincidentally, several players have bridged the divide by playing for both clubs in the past. With Lionel Messi almost certain to join PSG, let’s have a look at 5 other great players to have played for both Barcelona and the French giants:
Rated highly as a professional and as a person by his acquaintances, Maxwell is famously known for the amount of trophies he managed to amass in his 16-year-long career.
Born in Cachoeiro de Itapemirim in Brazil, the sturdy left-back came through the ranks of local club Cruzeiro before catching the eye of Ajax. Having already racked up six trophies during his time in Amsterdam, Maxwell went on to play for Inter, Barcelona and PSG in succession.
37 notable accolades and 16 years later, the enigmatic Brazilian retired in 2017, having last played for PSG. The diminutive attacking full-back has been a dependable option for every team he played for, boasting a total of 564 career appearances at the time of his retirement.
#4 Dani Alves
The Brazilian defender, like his compatriot Maxwell, was at the center of two treble-winning Barcelona sides. Having exuded immense potential in his initial years with Sevilla, Alves secured a record-breaking move to the Camp Nou for a mouth-watering fee of €35.5m. He was instrumental in establishing the Catalans’ continental supremacy in the 2010s and departed the club after eight loyal years.
After spending two seasons with Juventus, Alves moved to PSG to reunite with his former teammate Neymar in 2017. The 38-year-old star defender recently signed for Sau Paulo in his native Brazil, having served all two years of his PSG contract.