Lionel Messi unveiled ahead of PSG match but not included in squad

Lionel Messi PSG
Lionel Messi acknowledges the fans before PSG's match.
REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Paris St Germain (PSG) presented Lionel Messi to fans inside the Parc des Princes stadium ahead of their Ligue 1 clash with Strasbourg, but the Argentine was not included in the squad for the 4-2 victory that saw them take a maximum six points from the opening two matches of the 2021-22 Ligue 1 campaign.

Messi took to the field pre-match along with fellow new recruits Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi, and Georginio Wijnaldum, and spoke to the raucous crowd.

“It has been a very special week for me,” he said. “I want to thank everyone for the reception since I arrived in Paris. It has been truly incredible. I feel very happy and excited.

“I hope together we can enjoy this year and make it a great year for us. I am very excited about everything.”

As expected, Messi was not named in the match squad after coach Mauricio Pochettino said this week that the 34-year-old is not yet fully fit.

Italy goalkeeper Donnarumma, fresh off a Euro 2020 triumph and formerly of AC Milan, and veteran defender Ramos, who is a Real Madrid legend, were also not included. Hakimi, purchased from Inter Milan, and Wijnaldum, from Liverpool, were selected to start.

Messi joined PSG this week on a two-year contract with the option of extending it by another year after Barcelona said they could not afford to keep him because of LaLiga’s financial fair play rules.

2021-22 Ligue 1 season odds

  1. PSG: +500
  2. Lille: +900
  3. Lyon: +900
  4. Monaco: +1200
  5. Marseille: +1600
  6. Montpellier: +3300
  7. Rennes: +4000
  8. Lens: +5000
  9. Nice: +10000
  10. Bordeaux: +50000
  11. Clermont: +50000
  12. Metz: +50000
  13. Nantes: +50000
  14. St Etienne: +50000
  15. Troyes: +50000
  16. Angers: +75000
  17. Brest: +100000
  18. Lorient: +100000
  19. Reims: +100000
  20. Strasbourg: +100000

Odds courtesy of William Hill

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