Messi’s PSG debut to be delayed further

Lionel Messi and Neymar of PSG watched by coach Mauricio Pochettino, Ligue 1
Lionel Messi and Neymar of PSG watched by coach Mauricio Pochettino, Ligue 1 - IMAGO / Shutterstock

Lionel Messi will reportedly have to wait another week to make his much-anticipated PSG debut after he is left out of the squad for Friday’s Ligue 1 game at Brest. 

PSG fans who were hoping to see the player in action this Friday have their hopes dashed as Goal reports that Messi and fellow attacker Neymar have been omitted from the squad due to fitness issues.

The former Barca superstar joined PSG this summer after 21 years at Nou Camp. He was also part of the Argentine squad that won the Copa America last month. His exploits at Copa America and the situation surrounding his departure from Barca mean that Messi remains not fully match fit, having returned to training later than most of his teammates.

Although he had returned to full training, the report states that manager Mauricio Pochettino has opted to rest him for the game on Friday.

While previewing the Brest game, the manager revealed that the squad for Friday’s game wasn’t yet decided.

We haven’t decided the squad yet,’ Pochettino said at a press conference on Thursday. 

‘We will assess whether Messi can be a part of it.

‘Everything is positive. There is a good atmosphere in the squad, and he has settled in well and quickly. There is a very good feeling.’

Despite his statement, it appears the manager has left Messi out of the squad to continue to build fitness ahead of a busy season in France.

Another player who will join the duo in missing the match is Leandro Paredes, who, like his teammates, only returned to training recently. 

Although Messi and Neymar are unavailable for selection, Pochettino will have Ángel di María, Marco Verratti, Marquinhos, and goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma available for the game.

PSG supporters will probably have to wait until Reims match on August 29 to see Messi in action.