Lionel Messi will have to wait a little longer before taking the field for the first time for new club Paris Saint-Germain. He sat out last Saturday’s 4-2 Ligue 1 home win against Strasbourg and he will miss Friday’s match against Brest.
Messi’s signing was officially announced on Aug. 10 and, following his presentation the following day, he participated in his first training session on Aug. 12. Given his last competitive game came back on July 10, he’s been putting in the work to reach full fitness.
Head coach Mauricio Pochettino did not include in him the squad to face Brest on Friday. Neymar was also absent from the group that traveled for the third Ligue 1 match of the season.
MORE: PSG’s match schedule, TV & streaming
If Messi is going to make his PSG bow before the September international break for World Cup qualifiers, it will have to come on the road on Sunday, Aug. 29 at Stade de Reims. Reports have pegged that match as the target for his debut:
Lionel Messi is expected to make his Paris Saint-Germain debut in the Ligue 1 clash away to Reims on August 29.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) August 16, 2021
|Date||Competition||Match||Time (ET)||TV channels||Stream|
|Sunday, Aug. 1||Trophee des Champions||Lille 1, PSG 0||Highlights|
|Saturday, Aug. 7||Ligue 1, Matchday 1||Troyes 1, PSG 2||Highlights|
|Saturday, Aug. 14||Ligue 1, Matchday 2||PSG 4, Strasbourg 2||Highlights|
|Friday, Aug. 20||Ligue 1, Matchday 3||Brest vs. PSG||3 p.m.||beIN Sports||beIN Connect|
|Sunday, Aug. 29||Ligue 1, Matchday 4||Stade de Reims vs. PSG||2:45 p.m.||beIN Sports||beIN Connect|
PSG players vs. Brest
Messi and Neymar will be out of the squad for another match, but several international stars will be making their 2021-2022 squad debuts, including Marquinhos, Angel Di Maria and Italian duo Gigi Donnarumma and Marco Verratti, who won Euro 2021 with their national team. Sergio Ramos is still out with a calf injury and won’t be back until September.
A noticeable absence is Spanish international Pablo Sarabia, who Le Parisien reports could be transferred back to Spain before the close of the transfer window on Aug. 31. Juan Bernat, Sergio Rico and Layvin Kurzawa are also not in the squad due to injury and, like Messi and Neymar, Argentine international Leandro Paredes is being given more time to get ready.
Here’s the full 23-man squad that Pochettino assembled for the match against Brest:
- Goalkeepers (3): Gigi Donnarumma, Keylor Navas, Denis Franchi
- Defenders (6): Achraf Hakimi, Presnel Kimpembe, Marquinhos, Abdou Diallo, Thilo Kehrer, El Chadaille Bitshiabu
- Midfielders (10): Nathan Bitumazala, Rafinha, Danilo Pereira, Idrissa Gueye, Marco Verratti, Georginio Wijnaldum, Ander Herrera, Julian Draxler, Ismael Gharbi, Junior Dina Ebimbe
- Forwards (4): Angel Di Maria, Mauro Icardi, Kylian Mbappe, Arnaud Kalimuendo
Messi presented to PSG fans
Although he wasn’t in the squad to play in the last Ligue 1 match against Strasboug, Messi was presented to the home fans alongside the summer’s other new arrivals.
“It was a very special week for me,” he said when handed the mic. “I want to thank all the fans for the welcome when I arrived in Paris. It was incredible. I feel happy and I’m excited. I’m so happy to be here and happy for this new phase in my career that I’ll be experiencing. And I hope together we can enjoy this season and that it’s a great year for us. That’s what I’m feeling. I’m really excited by all this.”
Messi and Neymar sat together in the PSG box to watch the PSG victory over Strasbourg, but it’s unclear if they will be on hand at Brest’s Stade Francis-Le Blé.
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