Even the opposing fans are chanting his name: Messi makes his debut at Paris Saint-Germain
He played for almost half an hour – Lionel Messi’s debut in PSG’s dress was unspectacular in sporting terms. Not at all about the trappings. Proof of what’s to come. But then also with double scorer Kylian Mbappé?
Even when warming up, even the opposing fans chanted “Messi, Messi, Messi”. The Stade Reims goalkeeper was happy to see a photo of his little son on the football superstar’s arm after the final whistle. And the sports newspaper “L’Équipe” said in short: “It is a date that will go down in history.”
At 10:09 p.m., the paper recorded precisely, Lionel Messi came into play under the eyes of 20,525 “lucky people” in the Reims stadium and millions of television viewers “across the planet”. After a deep hug with and for his Brazilian kicker buddy Neymar, Messi stepped onto the pitch. “The event caused a lot of excitement,” wrote “Le Monde”.
Thierry Henry: I’ve rarely seen anything like this
The event was Messi’s first competitive game after 778 games and 21 years at FC Barcelona. He moved to Paris Saint-Germain free of charge because the insanely highly indebted Catalans simply could no longer afford their guarantees of success. PSG does. And so the now 34-year-old celebrated Messi made his debut over around 24 minutes at the second stop of his career full of titles, successes and records.
A first appearance that impressively demonstrated the hype surrounding the six-time world footballer among RB Leipzig’s group opponents in the Champions League. “I’ve rarely seen anything like that,” commented former French international Thierry Henry, who once played with Messi at FC Barcelona, about the reception by the opposing fans. “It was nice to see and hear this reception,” said PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino.
“Messi was very happy about it,” said the compatriot of the football genius from Rosario. They are all motivated, with Messi there is also optimism. He should make his starting line-up debut in just under two weeks at PSG’s Parc des Princes in Paris, opponent after the international break will be Clermont Foot Auvergne.
Poker a Kylian Mbappé
The Ligue 1 title is no more than a mandatory and no less than a matter of form for PSG, especially after finishing second last season and with the other well-known newcomers this summer. The big goal is the Champions League. With the double goal scorer from the 2-0 win in Reims?
It will be exciting hours for Kylian Mbappé until the transfer window closes this Tuesday. While “L’Équipe” titled one of their many reports on the game with “Messi, it has started”, the French star striker said: “Mbappé to the end”.
Real Madrid want the 22-year-old French world champion before his contract with PSG expires next year. And Mbappé also wants to go there. It was he who shone with his two goals in PSG’s fourth win in the fourth game of the season, before Messi’s first appearance was rather unspectacular from a purely sporting point of view.
“Half an hour without any major action for the start of a cycle in which PSG dreams of retaking France and always thinks about reaching the top of Europe with the best in their own ranks,” wrote the Argentine sports newspaper “Olé”. Messi’s contract is valid until the end of June 2023 – with an option for one more season.