Messi needs time to warm up after PSG debut

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Actualizado 30/08/2021 - 13:32

Lionel Messi made his long-awaited debut for Paris Saint-Germain, coming on in their victory over Stade de Reims on Sunday night. The Argentine replaced Neymar in the 66th minute, as he received a standing ovation from both sets of supporters at the Stade Auguste Delaune.

His brief cameo featured flashes of his brilliance, as he demonstrated his vision by linking up well with his new teammates and he won his side a number of fouls. However, he had no touches in the opposition penalty area and did not register a shot on goal throughout his 25-minute cameo.

The 34-year-old is getting back up to speed, as the match on Sunday night was his first since the Copa America final on July 11 and, after the victory over Brazil, he was unable to join up with his former Barcelona teammates for pre-season.

On top of that, he is familiarising himself with his new teammates, so it was understandable that he was some way off his best level on his debut.

Mauricio Pochettino stated at full time that he was pleased with Messi's debut and believes that his performances will continue to improve as he gets back to full fitness.

"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," 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.

"He was good, from his first touches he gave the team peace of mind. It's good for him to start with a win."

Messi will be looking to hit his stride in the weeks and months ahead, starting with his potential home debut when PSG take on Clermont Foot at the Parc des Princes after the international break on September 12.

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