Messi shocked the footballing world last summer, when he pulled the curtain down on his illustrious Barcelona career, with the two parties unable to come to an agreement on a new deal.
After joining PSG on a two-year deal, there were high expectations that the Argentine icon could run riot in what is perceived as a weaker competition.
However, the 34-year-old has been outshone by strike partner Kylian Mbappe and he has found the net on just two occasions in Ligue 1.
Mbappe was forced to bail out his veteran team-mate in midweek, scoring an injury-time winner against Real Madrid, after Messi had missed a second-half penalty.
Messi’s performance came under intense scrutiny in the aftermath of the victory over Los Blancos, with L’Equipe rating him at just 3/10, while ex-PSG player Jerome Rothen claimed he “offers nothing” to his old side.
He told RMC Sport: “Of course, in terms of merchandising, it’s wonderful to have attracted Loniel Messi.
“People come to see Messi play at PSG. But you have to recognise that in a sporting context, he brings nothing to PSG.
“The biggest problem is that this was a great match, that’s where we expect the great players to perform and tonight it was more of a drag than anything else.
“There are technical errors, losses of the ball, the missed penalty – but it can happen to anyone. It’s, above all, his behaviour. He looks down at his boots, it looks like he’s not happy.”
Sergio Aguero hit back at the response to his performance in a furious rant, while Cesc Fabregas has also backed his own colleague.
In an interview with Mundo Deportivo, the former Barca midfielder was asked whether Messi came in for more flak than was necessary.
“Undoubtedly. I’ve read things about people who shouldn’t have seen him play against Real Madrid. Without being stellar, he played a good game,” Cesc started. “He missed a penalty. And that? Judging him for that seems ridiculous to me. Football goes much further. Courtois is a fantastic goalkeeper and he has merit.
Amid reports of Lionel Messi being unhappy in the French capital, Cesc added: “Messi is happy when he wins, when he scores and when he manages to be decisive. That’s why he has been who he is for fifteen years.
“The most similar to him is Cristiano Ronaldo, but I have not seen anyone like him.”
And in an ominous warning to PSG’s European rivals,Cesc recalled the last time he faced such levels of hostility – driving him on to help the Blaugrana win the treble.
“I remember the first year of Luis Enrique in which he was criticised a lot,” Fabregad recounted. “A crisis of all that was made. Then Barça won the treble. Now, something similar can happen.
“I understand that programs have to be sold, but we are talking about a player who can leave you portrayed in a second.
“With Lionel Messi, you always have to be careful, just in case. He has rope for a while.”