(CTN News) – Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) have won the French league for the 11th time as Lionel Messi scored against Strasbourg in a 1-1 draw, breaking the scoring record for Europe’s top five leagues, but questions remain over Messi’s future with the club.
Kevin Gameiro’s equalizer offended Messi’s opener on Saturday, but the result gave PSG an unassailable four-point lead over Lens with one match remaining.
Saint-Etienne set the previous record of 10 titles in 1981, which PSG equaled a year ago under former coach Mauricio Pochettino.
As a result, PSG have won their ninth title in the last 11 seasons, a period during which they have dominated French football under the ownership of Qatar Sports Investment.
The French champions entered the penultimate weekend of the season six points ahead of their nearest rivals Lens, and they had a higher goal difference as well.
They were officially crowned champions with a game to spare when Lens defeated already relegated Ajaccio 3-0 in the final.
PSG’s 16th Ligue 1 goal of the season came just before the hour mark thanks to Kylian Mbappe’s assist.
In addition, it was Messi’s 496th league goal in Europe, breaking Cristiano Ronaldo’s record for the top five leagues in Europe.
The former Paris striker Gameiro equalized 11 minutes from time, bundling in a rebound after Gianluigi Donnarumma had saved Morgan Sanson’s effort.
Ultimately, the draw was beneficial to both teams, as it enabled Strasbourg to retain their top-flight status.
There have been some unhappy days PSG
Even though Christophe Galtier’s team lost six games in 2023, PSG still won the title, despite Lens’ closest challengers taking most of the accolades.
As a result, they lost six of their first 17 league games in 2023, and were eliminated from the Champions League at the last 16 stage by Bayern Munich and from the French Cup at the same stage.
The Champions League is PSG’s holy grail, which it has failed to achieve regularly over the past seven seasons, including five times in the last 16.
Throughout recent weeks, there has been a sense of sullenness around the club, with fans appearing dissatisfied. After taking an unapproved trip to Saudi Arabia, Neymar, now 31, has suffered more injury problems and Messi has been suspended for missing training.
As a result of poor results, some of the fans’ anger was directed towards Messi, who was viewed as underperforming after returning from winning the World Cup with Argentina.
A football agent told Al Jazeera earlier this month that Messi is clearly seeking a change of scenery as his contract expires at the end of the season.