PSG’s Kylian Mbappe accused of being selfish towards Lionel Messi vs Strasbourg
Lionel Messi hasn’t really scored goals for fun at Paris Saint-Germain.
While the Barcelona legend certainly hasn’t performed poorly in French football, there’s no denying that Messi’s record with just four goals in 23 Ligue 1 games has shocked fans.
The fact that he continues to rank among the most successful players in Europe does not negate the reality that his total goals scored in league football have dropped by 26 strikes from last season.
Messi struggling for goals in Ligue 1
When we talk about a player with six European Golden Boot trophies who has already scored 91 goals in a calendar year, such a drastic drop in goal tally is definitely not something to ignore.
And sadly, time is really running out for Messi to make his PSG stats much more aesthetically pleasing in his debut season with just a handful of games remaining in the 2021/22 campaign.
The French champions only have clashes with Troyes, Montpellier and Metz to play before drawing the curtain back on what must ultimately be a bitterly disappointing season.
And while Messi comes into these last three games hoping to fill his boots with as many goals as possible, he will always spoil the fact that he was unable to raise his tally against Strasbourg on Friday.
Strasbourg 3-3 PSG
PSG had to kick their ass as they had to settle for a 3-3 draw at Stade de la Meinau Strasbourg despite leading in stoppage time thanks to Kylian Mbappe’s brace and Achraf strike Hakimi.
Indeed, the hosts, who had already found their way to the net thanks to Kevin Gameiro and Marco Verratti’s own goal, snatched a point from the penalty spot when Anthony Caci volleyed a home leveler.
And PSG’s failure to win the game was certainly compounded by the fact that many fans felt Messi didn’t have a chance to wrap up the three points.
Mbappe accused of being selfish towards Messi
Indeed, claims were rife on social media that Messi hadn’t received the ball in situations where he really could have caused damage to Kylian Mbappe, in particular, being accused of selfishness.
The fans identify two moments in the match where Mbappe – who looks set to leave PSG this summer – failed to take the chance to pass the ball to Messi when it could have been beneficial.
The first instance came just before half-time with the scores tied at 1-1, with Mbappe opting to go it alone rather than pass the ball to Neymar or Messi as they made runs in the box.
It turned out to be the wrong move as Mbappe headed for a dead end, failing in an ambitious attempt to dribble past two Strasbourg players as Messi’s run came to an end. Check it out:
Mbappe is one of the most selfish players I’ve seen, why doesn’t he pass that on to Messi? pic.twitter.com/kVDvS9fbpI
— Stav (@stavfps) April 29, 2022
The most disturbing example
However, perhaps the most glaring example fans referenced came in stoppage time when the Parisians looked like they had a brilliant chance to kill the game before Strasbourg equalized.
Mbappe had the home defense against the ropes as he sprinted towards their penalty area with the clear option of Messi running down his right side which would have been much easier to find than the previous example.
But even worse than his earlier decision to try and take on the defense one-on-one, Mbappe instead opted for a long-range effort just when it looked like Messi could aim for the goal.
Even those outlandish claims that Mbappe was selfish in the Strasbourg draw would struggle to justify why he didn’t pass the ball to Messi in that case, so check it out here:
91′ Strasbourg 2-3 PSG
Mbappé through with free Messi:
A few minutes after this Strasbourg equalizes 3-3
Yes, Mbappé is great, and yes, he assisted a few goals from Messi. But the truth is that at least 20 times this season when Messi was free like that, Mbappé failed.
The truth pic.twitter.com/OysYXyJGe3
— mx (@MessiMX30ii) April 29, 2022
Is there any credence to claims?
Is something really going on there or are the fans reading things too much?
While it’s hard to imagine Mbappe having some sort of grudge against passing the ball to Messi, the theory that the Frenchman has a general tendency to go it alone isn’t an outrageous proposition.
There are many examples of successful goalscorers who have forged their historical tallies by taking the ‘selfish’ option more than forward with a tendency to pass or create for others.
As such, it wouldn’t be ridiculous to speculate that behavior like this from Mbappe over an entire season could have had an impact on Messi scoring just four Ligue 1 goals.
However, even if this turns out to be a theory that does not hold up at all, one cannot help but think that PSG could have won in Strasbourg if Mbappé had passed the ball to Messi…