Lionel Messi scores for PSG in first game back since World Cup triumph
Lionel Messi celebrated his return to Paris Saint-Germain by scoring in his first game back. world cup.
The 35-year-old returned to training in the New Year after taking some time off to celebrate and recuperate after Qatar 2022, where he finally won the trophy that left him in one forever. The biggest final ever.
But the forward didn’t seem to be suffering from a hangover as he returned to action with a goal from close range in PSG’s 2-0 win against Angers on Wednesday.
Messi also paid tribute to Pele before the match, joining his teammates in training wearing a T-shirt with the Brazilian’s face on it.
PSG sit comfortably at the top of the league despite Christophe Gaultier changing his squad as he eases players back in after the World Cup.
Defeated finalist Kylian Mbappe in Qatar was rested for Wednesday’s match, giving the likes of youngster Hugo Ekitike some time.
The 20-year-old forward has impressed when given the chance this season and opened the scoring in the first half with a superb performance.
Messi, who attacked alongside Neymar Jr, then doubled the lead in the 72nd minute after a well-timed run and right-footed finish.
The linesman initially flagged for offside, but the virtual assistant referee (VAR) overturned the call and the goal was awarded.
Messi’s comeback win is some welcome news for PSG, who lost 3-1 in the league to Lens for the first time this season last week.
“Yes, it was very important to get back to winning ways. We have opponents who are pushing hard,” Gaultier told PSGTV after the game.
“We knew we were going to have a difficult match because Angers are a team that play good football and pose big problems at a tactical level.
“I also emphasize the fact that the situation – after the World Cup – means that we had a lot of players absent, that the group was very scattered and that, little by little, everyone is coming back and again. Connecting.”
PSG, who are six points clear on the table, play Rennes in their next game on Sunday.