Bruges of Belgium took the debut match against PSG more seriously than ever, the one in which, according to the bets, they were going to pass him over. He put his face on, was a moving example of order and understood everything from the beginning: football is a team sport, even if the most expensive in the world wear your shirt and no one, but no one, is stronger than everyone together.
Although Messi, Neymar and Mbappé played together for the first time, the Colombian Eder Álvarez Balanta, now as a midfielder, played a great match, and his teammates were also impeccable in the brand, so that in the end a 1-1 draw was signed that showed bad favorites to win the Champions League.
Only 15 minutes held the Belgian resistance. In a pique Mbappé finished with the super populated local midfield and got in the center back not for Neymar, not for Messi, but for a discreet Ander Herrera who appeared only in the middle for 1-0.
At 22, Messi and Mbappe met for the first time, surpassing Balanta among others, and it was goalkeeper Mignolet who had to fight to save a tremendous shot from the Frenchman. Talent doesn’t fight anything!
Neither that of PSG nor that of Bruges, because Lang’s beautiful pause was left to Sobol to finish off from outside and on the rebound Vanaken came free for 1-1, at 27 minutes, in a clumsy setback from the visiting team, in which Paredes and Marquinhos failed and they sacrificed Kimpembe and, of course, Navas.
The issue is that with so much talent from the middle upwards, Messi would have a clear shot at the post at 29 when he had already beaten the goalkeeper; But beware that football is in two phases and on the defensive Wijnaldum gave a free kick that forced Navas to demand himself to reject him down and apart Maquinhos, in a night to be forgotten, again compromised his area on the wall in which he Vaneken and De Ketelaere painted the face and the latter fired a rifle that Navas had to take out of pure reflex.
It was so obvious that there were containment problems in the middle that Paredes and Wijnaldum came out for Draxler and Pereira and at 50 Mbappé left, very sore in a toe … golden opportunity for Icardi.
It did not improve the stellar French club, Lang continued to wreak havoc in the Navas area and even encouraged a chalaca that went away while the Belgian midfield was a moving show of sacrifice and order. Messi seemed to understand it and was delayed, looking for a Neymar lost the whole game and solving himself, testing the goalkeeper at 68 and even earning a yellow for a hard tackle. Little of the team, just a sum of individualities was PSG, who will be able to score goals but not impose themselves with authority.
And in that chaos, it was Herrera and not Icardi or Neymar, Messi’s partner, who seemed to be hurt more by the poor show that so many millions were giving on the field.
In the end, a point against all odds was the award for discipline and the delivery of the Belgians, who did not buy shirts or names but men and dealt a first blow to the millionaire project of the Qataris: they will be very famous, very talented, very rich, but for now they are far, far from being a team.