Today’s match between Stade Reims and Paris Saint-Germain (8:45 pm) in the fourth round of the French League may not have a greater date. “It would be a miracle if I didn’t leave the goal,” goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic said.
The favorite is the Ligue 1 captain, but the most important things off the pitch happen off the field. Leo Messi has finally been called up for the Paris game and is likely to make his debut for the new club. He will probably do it in the company of Neymar – his teammate from Barcelona in 2013-2017. For three years, they have been making a dream attack with Luis Suarez, and it would have been more interesting at PSG if their partner was Kylian Mbappe. It’s just that the 22-year-old French world champion is going to the Santiago Bernabeu.
So maybe the match against Reims is more extraordinary than Messi’s first game suggests. After 21 years in Barcelona, the Argentine will experience extraordinary emotions today. The trio of Neymar, Messi and Mbappe will likely play together for the first and last time. Real Madrid fans, mocked by the Spanish media, hope that Mauricio Pochettino, coach of Paris Saint-Germain, will not call Mbappe for today’s match. This would be a sign that the Paris club accepted the royal bid of 180 million euros. The reason was that the French player’s contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires in June 2022 and after that he will be able to leave for free.
But he took Pochettino Kiliana to the match against Stade Reims. – He didn’t tell me he was going somewhere – said the PSG coach. Should the celebration be postponed in the Spanish capital? The transfer window ends on August 31, so time is very short. And the media considered that the transfer was certain, and speculated on who would replace Mbappe in the Princes Park. Erling Haaland’s name is mentioned.
So, although Messi is hard to believe, Messi is not in the spotlight today. The Argentine will make his debut, but more important Champions League matches will come for him. He won matches against Barcelona four times. Paris Saint-Germain will lift the trophy for the fifth time – the club’s owners from Qatar have been dreaming of for a decade. During that time, they spent 1.5 billion euros on transfers.
Obviously winning the Champions League would be more difficult without Mbappe – the greatest star of the younger generation. His future seemed doomed, and he was transferred to Real Madrid. However, unlimited financial resources make leaving PSG more difficult than leaving it.
Watching today’s Ligue 1 match against Stade Reims, fans from all over the world will try to read the signs. Messi’s debut will be a great event, but it will be a symbolic one, because it will happen one day. What will happen to Mbappe, no one knows one hundred percent. Once upon a time, footballers came to Barcelona to enjoy playing alongside the six-time Ballon d’Or winner. Will the French youth do the opposite?
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