According to various reports, new signing Lionel Messi will not be featured in Paris Saint-Germain’s upcoming match against Brest this week along with his former Barcelona teammate Neymar. Euro 2020 winner Donnarumma and Copa America 2020 winner Angel Di Maria have been called up. Despite the absence of his star signing, head coach Mauricio Pochettino insists that all is fine.
“Everything is positive,” Pochettino told a news conference at PSG’s training camp. “There is a good atmosphere in the squad and (Messi) has settled in well and quickly. There is a very good feeling.” Messi hasn’t played since the Copa America final on July 10, when he claimed his first major international trophy for Argentina with a 1-0 win over Brazil.
He was presented to the fans ahead of PSG’s 4-2 home win over Strasbourg but did not play. The 34-year-old, who will wear the number 30 as revealed in a video by the club, is one big addition to an impressive transfer window, having earlier acquired the likes of Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum, Achraf Hakimi and Gianluigi Donnarumma.
“We haven’t decided the squad yet but we will do so shortly,” Pochettino responded in a news conference when asked about Messi. “We will analyse whether he can be in the squad. In terms of what Lionel Messi brings, everybody knows that. His presence here in terms of what he represents is something we have talked about a lot in recent days.”
Pochettino reportedly set to name a similar squad to the one for PSG’s 4-2 victory over Strasbourg, with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi and Archaf Hakimi set to play for PSG. The Argentine coach also addressed Mbappe’s future in the club. “I think he [Mbappe] is very motivated and working hard ahead of this season,” Pochettino said. He is our player and I want him to be here this season.”
“The most important thing is Kylian Mbappe is calm and knows what he is doing. He knows what he wants to do. We know that he is our player. We want him to be here,” he added. “My conversations with Mbappe are all about football. He has another year on his contract and even if he doesn’t renew, he is still a PSG player and we are pleased with him, and from what I understand, he is pleased with us.”
PSG will head to this match with a win in their first two opening games against Troyes 1-2 and Strasbourg 4-2. This back-to-back wins healed them from a loss in the curtain-raiser event against current holders Lille 1-0 in Trophee des Champions. PSG are currently third on six points, behind leaders Angers and promoted Clermont Foot on goal difference.
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