Argentine superstar Lionel Messi joined Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on a two-year, $83 million deal earlier this month after his 21-year-long association with his boyhood club Barcelona came to an end due to their mounting debt, which now stands at a mammoth $1.5 billion.
Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi’s long-awaited debut for French giants PSG has been delayed yet again as the 34-year-old has been left out of Mauricio Pochettino’s team for their game against Brest, goal.com and ESPN reported on Friday.
Lionel Messi will not be taking part in PSG’s Ligue 1 match on Friday vs. Brest. This via l’Équipe.
Lionel Messi and Neymar will not travel with the PSG squad to face Brest tomorrow night because they just returning to training.
Di María, Verratti, Donnarumma and Marquinhos are all expected to be included.
Messi didn’t feature in PSG’s 4-2 win over Strasbourg last weekend, as he continues to work on his fitness in Paris.
Pochettino’s decision to leave Messi out of the squad stems from his late return to training as the superstar went on an extended holiday after winning the Copa America title with Argentina in July.
Apart from Messi, his good friend Neymar will sit out Friday’s match against Brest. Just like Messi, the Brazilian playmaker has just returned to training.
But suspense over Messi’s debut had grown to unprecedented heights after Pochettino declined to specify if the legendary striker would make his debut or not during a press conference on Thursday.
“We haven’t decided the squad yet. We will assess whether Messi can be a part of it,” the Argentine manager said. “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 added.
Pochettino also broke his silence on the swirling rumours about French World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe’s potential move to Real Madrid.
“Mbappe is our player and I want him to be here this season,” said Pochettino. “He has another year left on his contract. Even if he doesn’t renew it, he is still a PSG Player and we are very pleased with him, and from what I can understand he is pleased with us.”