E.A deep hug with Neymar, then Lionel Messi ran for the first time in his professional career for a club other than FC Barcelona on the football field. The 34-year-old star made his debut in Paris Saint-Germain dress on Sunday evening. After 65 minutes on the bench, the six-time world footballer came on for his friend Neymar in PSG’s 2-0 (1-0) win at Stade Reims and greeted with applause from the fans.
At his debut with the shirt number 30, the exceptional player could not yet set any decisive accents. The guarantee for the success of the leader of the French championship without loss points after four match days was the star striker Kylian Mbappé, who scored in the 16th and 63rd minute. The 22-year-old, who is associated with Real Madrid, was on the pitch like the German international Thilo Kehrer. Julian Draxler came on in the 81st minute for Angel di Maria.
Lionel Messi’s premiere was inconspicuous. He started solo runs twice, but got stuck with the opposing players. Mbappé tried to pass the Argentine twice for a shot on goal, but the ball failed both times. After the final whistle, the four-time Champions League winner was applauded by the opponents. Reims goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic even snapped a photo of Messi with a smile.
“He was satisfied with the team and happy that he can develop further with his colleagues. He wants to keep working and I’m sure we’ll be even better soon, ”said coach Mauricio Pochettino after his compatriot’s debut.
The exceptional footballer had previously played for FC Barcelona for 21 years. Just two days after his tearful goodbye to the Catalans, who had not come to a new deal after his contract expired, Messi had joined Paris. At PSG he has a contract until mid-2023 plus an option for another season.