Messi, Ramos end PSG careers in home defeat

Paris, Jun 4 (IANS): Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos bid farewell to Parc des Princes as Paris Saint-Germain wasted a two-goal lead to suffer a 3-2 defeat to Clermont in the final Ligue 1 match of the season on Saturday night.

"After two seasons in the capital, Leo Messi's adventure with Paris Saint-Germain will come to a conclusion at the end of the 2022-2023 season," the club said in a statement after the match, while Ramos' departure was confirmed on Friday.

"I would like to thank the club, the city of Paris and its people for these two years. I wish you all the best for the future," Messi told the club website.

PSG, having secured the league title last week, finished the season with one point ahead of Lens, who beat Auxerre 3-1 in their last match, while sending the opponents to relegation, Xinhua reported.

The 37-year-old defender Ramos put PSG in front after 16 minutes, heading in a cross from Vitinha. Kylian Mbappe scored a penalty five minutes later with his 29th league goal this season, which made him the best scorer of Ligue 1 for a fifth consecutive season.

But the visitors were not willing to allow an easy victory for the league champions, as Johan Gastien and Mehdi Zeffane scored to equalize before the break and Grejohn Kyei bundled the winner in the second half.

Former Barcelona star and Argentina World Cup winner Messi ended his PSG spell with 32 goals, bringing two league titles to the capital-based club but failing to lead the Qatari-own to touch the Champions League glory after two round-of-16 exits in a row.

Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal and Major League Soccer side Inter Miami are two of the possible destinations for the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner, while a return to the Catalonian team seemed unlikely to happen.

PSG's Spanish goalkeeper Sergio Rico is in hospital in his native country after a horse riding accident the day after they clinched the title last weekend, so the players all wore Rico's name on the back of their jerseys in the match against Clermont to show their support.

In other actions on the final day, Rennes overtook Lille into fourth place and a Europa League spot with a 2-1 win at Brest, thanks to Lille's 1-1 draw at Troyes which meant the northern side will have to play in the Conference League.



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