French Ligue 1 had a few more televisions around the world tuning in Sunday as Lionel Messi made his debut as a substitute for Paris Saint-Germain. PSG secured a 2-0 win vs Reims behind goals from Kylian Mbappe (16′, 63′).
Mbappe has been rumored to be a target via transfer for Real Madrid, and some even speculated Sunday’s goals could very well be his last with the club.
Real Madrid made a £137 million bid to sign Mbappe; he has scored 135 goals in 175 games for PSG.
“Kylian is our player and you know that in football and in business there is always gossip and rumors,” PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino said.
Messi came on as a substitute to replace Neymar in the 66th minute of the match, after PSG was already up 2-0.
PSG’s starting eleven for Sunday’s match was: Navas, Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kehrer, Diallo, Wijnaldum, Gueye, Verratti, Di Maria, Mbappe, Neymar.
He received a standing ovation from the crowd at Reims as he sported the new No. 30 jersey.
Messi joined PSG recently after what seemed like a lifetime at Barcelona, where he joined initially as a 13-year-old. Messi scored 672 goals in 778 games for Barcelona.
“He is still far away from his best form but he has been training well and he will be fit in the next two weeks,” Pochettino said. “We are waiting for the best from him. I’m very happy that he made his debut. It was very important for him.”
Maybe the most memorable moment of the match came after the final whistle when Reims goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic asked Messi to take a photo with his kid after the match.
PSG, currently in first place in Ligue 1, are back in league action on 12 September vs Clermont Foot.