Should Messi return to action for PSG or does he need a break?

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Leo Messi played the full 90 minutes of Argentina's 0-0 draw with Brazil in the early hours of Wednesday morning, but it was clear that the Paris Saint-Germain forward was not in peak condition.

It was something that the player himself admitted after the match, which begs the question as to whether he is ready to play for PSG when Ligue 1 and the Champions League return, or if the 34-year-old would be better off taking a break.

"I haven't played for a long time. It was a very intense game and I need to find my rhythm. I'm fine, obviously not physically though," he said after the goalless draw with Brazil.

"I've been standing still for a long time and it's not easy to just play a game that has so much pace immediately.

"Thankfully I'm fine, I'm hoping to end the year well now."

Stuttered start to PSG career

Messi has been unable to get into any rhythm with PSG since joining from Barcelona in the summer.

He missed the opening two Ligue 1 fixtures as he had not done a full pre-season, before making his debut as a substitute against Stade Reims.

He was then rested against Clermont Foot before starting in the derby against Lyon, where he was taken off with 15 minutes remaining and the score at 1-1, and was seen refusing to shake the hand of coach Mauricio Pochettino before his replacement, Mauro Icardi, scored a late winner.

A knock then ruled him out of the next two league games, while he missed the most recent clash with Bordeaux due to a knee problem.

All in all, Messi has featured in just four Ligue 1 games out of a possible 12, and has only played two full 90 minute matches.

Does Messi need a break?

Pochettino has made a point of highlighting the fact that Messi has been carrying knocks of different kinds so far this season, and his stuttered start to life at PSG could indicate that the club would be best served giving a prolonged break in order for him to return in peak condition.

PSG, at the end of the season, will ultimately be judged on whether they can land the Champions League, a prime reason that Messi was signed in the first place.

While they can manage without him in Ligue 1, they will need the Argentine at his best when the European knockout stage matches begin, and therefore a rest for Messi ahead of that congested run of fixtures might work out best in the long run.

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