Wild reception for Messi in Paris Saint-Germain game
PARIS (AFP) — Lionel Messi got a first proper taste of his new home on Sunday as he was presented to a full stadium of Paris Saint-Germain fans before watching his teammates beat Strasbourg
4-2 in Ligue 1 with Kylian Mbappe playing a starring role.
Messi received a rapturous recep- tion as he ran out onto the pitch along with PSG's other summer signings, with a 48,000-full house greeting the six-time Ballon d'Or winner despite the welcome ceremony taking place an hour before kick-off.
Messi joined fellow recruits Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Georginio Wijnaldum and Achraf Hakimi on a stage set up on the turf at the Parc des Princes, and the flashy presentation ceremony threatened to overshadow the match itself.
The Argentine later watched from the stands alongside Neymar and Angel di Maria — the trio not yet considered match-fit having enjoyed an extended break after playing at the Copa America — as Mauricio Pochettino's team made it two wins from two Ligue 1 matches this season.
While Messi is the new idol of the PSG support, those fans jeered when
Mbappe's name was read out by the stadium announcer ahead of kick off.
The France striker is in the spotlight with speculation that he will seek a move away from PSG before the transfer window shuts — he has so far refused to extend his contract, which expires at the end of the campaign.
Mbappe played a key part in PSG's victory, which looked a certainty from the moment Icardi headed in Abdou Diallo's cross in the third minute.
The second goal arrived in the 25th minute when Mbappe's shot went in via a cruel deflection off the face of Ajorque, and two minutes later it was Mbappe's cross that was turned in at the back post by Draxler.