Messi Makes PSG Debut As Mbappe Bags A Brace In Win Over Reims
Lionel Messi made his Paris St-Germain debut as substitute with Kylian Mbappe bagging a brace in a 2-0 win at Reims in Ligue 1.
The Argentine, wearing his new number 30 PSG shirt, received a standing ovation as he replaced his friend Neymar in front of a sell-out crowd.
It was the first club game of his career for a team other than Barcelona.
“He is still far away from his best form but he has been training well and he will be fit in the next two weeks,” boss Mauricio Pochettino told Amazon.
“We are waiting for the best from him. I’m very happy that he made his debut. It was very important for him.
Mbappe scored both goals on what could be his final appearance for the club, with Real Madrid keen to sign him before Tuesday’s transfer deadline.
Real Madrid have made a 160m euro (£137m) bid to sign the 22-year-old, who has now scored 135 goals in 175 games for PSG.
His first goal was a header from an Angel di Maria cross and for his second he swept home Achraf Hakimi‘s cross.
“Kylian is our player and you know that in football and in business there is always gossip and rumours,” Pochettino said.
“I think our president and our sporting director were very clear and he is still here. I am really happy to have Kylian.
Although Mbappe scored both goals, the headlines will be about 34-year-old Messi, who came on moments after that second goal.
Tickets for the game were being resold for about 6,000 euros after Reims sold over 20,000 tickets for the Stade Auguste-Delaune match. Before Messi’s signing only about 6,000 had been sold.
Even though Messi was named on the bench, he got an ovation as he warmed up, with fans chanting his name, and an even bigger one when he came on.
He played some nice passes and was involved in good link-up play, drawing several fouls. However he had few touches in the penalty area and no shooting opportunities.