‘We’ve seen the best player in the world again’… Lionel Messi on momentum for big World Cup comeback

From our special correspondent at the Parc des Princes,

It’s past midnight near the Parc des Princes and a few supporters are still waiting outside the players’ car park, hoping for a small sign as the evening man passes by. The windows of all the cars that come out are darkened, but it’s not a big deal, the fans shout “Messiii, Messii” every time. Indeed, there is one to take the Argentines home.

The world champion was definitely the highlight of the evening, and we can thank you, because without him this PSG-Angers would have turned into a purgatory rather than a folio on a frosty Tuesday in January anyway. If the meeting was generally rather boring, it was probably the fault of the Parisians, who were a little too cold to take off their slippers before entering the pitch, Lionel Messi was ready to reunite almost three weeks later. The long-awaited world champion.

According to our colleagues at Le Parisien, the club decided not to hold a special ceremony before kick-off, believing that a guard of honor and a small trophy presented after returning to training was enough to mark the occasion. There were also whispers that we were a little intimidated by Park’s reception, which was more dedicated to Kylian Mbappe than the Argentine – he never made a superhuman effort to pocket it – and perhaps still irritated by Emiliano Martinez’s stupidity. celebrations. But the public proved that he knows how to understand everything. We do not disrespect the legend, everyone knows that.

Messi’s name became famous when the Paris squad was first announced, an hour before kick-off, when the stadium was still three-quarters empty. When the announcer repeated it at around 8.50pm, it got even louder, even if we could hear a few whistles behind the cheers. “I thank the supporters and congratulate them for welcoming him like this. Believe me, it warms his heart, “greeted Christophe Gaultier after the meeting. We want to believe it, even if the person involved can express it himself, for example when going to greet the crowd with his little friends at the final whistle rather than going straight to the dressing room. The only downside of the evening.

“He’s quiet”

But what was important for the Parisian coach was the pitch, and in that respect he was impressed with the performance of number 30. It’s hard to do otherwise, because he was the only one who dazzled in the last meeting. From the 5th minute, he moved Mukiele after a silky ball and his pass allowed Ekitiken to open the scoring. With 20 minutes to go, he took care of everything, from a double on the outside to start the move, to a small pot with an unstoppable right foot to wrap it up and tilt the match. Between those two moments, the Argentine will offer some goodies, like this one-touch aerial pass in the first period to replace Mukiele, who this time didn’t know how to use it. I’m not saying that super sticky temperature control Circulated on Twitter.

For those who thought the Argentine would make a comeback after winning the final title of his career, it’s a bummer. Despite some heavy legs after this lively hiatus, he was more on the go, engaged, inspired. “Undoubtedly, we saw the best player in the world today,” observed Galtier. He really wanted to play, he recovered well, he prepared well. Obviously, everything changes a lot when Leo is on the field. He looks calm, light, having won the trophy he was missing. But he really wanted to reconnect with the game, with the competition, quickly, and he had a great game. »

A meeting with Mbappe this Thursday

Same feeling on Nordi Mukiele’s side, the only Parisian who stopped to chat with us for a bit in the mixed zone. The right-back, who was more than happy to pass the dice to his illustrious team-mate, also noted the sense of fulfillment that came from him. “I feel good, I’m happy to be here. It was already before the World Cup and more. Having Happy Leo is a great thing for the team as he will help us in the second part of the season. »

There is indeed a lot to do between the championship and especially the Champions League where Lens and OM will be looking for the slightest misstep. The first leg of the round of 16 against Bayern Munich is coming up very soon and seeing Messi already at this level is obviously good news. The Argentinian, who scored 27 times in 20 games with PSG (13 goals, 14 assists), has had a season by Barcelona standards. But like all the others, the counters will reset for him in February. Until then, Messi will go through other meetings with Kylian Mbappé, definitely a little special. After ten days off, the French resumed training at Camp des Loges on Wednesday.

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