PSG fans will have to wait a bit longer to watch the former Barcelona star Messi make his debut after Mauricio Pochettino has left out Messi and Neymar for Friday’s Ligue 1 game away at Brest.
After an extended break following the Copa America, both Messi and Neymar returned to pre-season training late. Messi’s Argentina defeated Neymar’s Brazil 1-0 in the final in Rio de Janeiro on July 11. Angel di Maria, who scored the game-winning goal for Argentina in the final, was named to PSG’s squad. The club looks to make it three wins in a row to start the French season.
Before the September international break, Messi might make his PSG debut in next weekend’s encounter away to Reims. He is likely to feature in a triple-header of World Cup qualifiers against Venezuela, Brazil, and Bolivia.
Gianluigi Donnarumma made his first appearance in the squad since joining Paris from AC Milan after impressing Italy at Euro 2020. Sergio Ramos, another new acquisition, is still not fit to make his debut.
“Everything is positive. There is a good atmosphere in the squad and (Messi) has settled in well and quickly. There is a very good feeling.” Pochettino told a news conference at PSG’s training camp. Messi had not trained in over a month after helping Argentina win the Copa America.
A 17-year career in which he won 10 LaLiga and four Champions League championships, Messi left Barcelona on a free transfer after the Catalan club’s president Joan Laporta announced that they couldn’t afford to keep him.
Pochettino also shot down speculations that Kylian Mbappe could leave PSG this summer, suggesting that the France World Cup winner was a target for Real Madrid, according to sources.