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The Time is Now: Messi gets set for PSG Champions League bow
Lionel Messi arrived in Paris with the goal of winning the Champions League once more, and he is due to make his first start for his new club in Bruges on Wednesday.
Five weeks have gone by since Messi was introduced as a PSG player and declared himself in “the ideal position” to win club football’s most prestigious prize for the fifth time.
In more than a month, he has only played 24 minutes in a PSG shirt as a substitute in a Ligue 1 match at Reims.
After returning from international duty with Argentina, the 34-year-old was anticipated to make his complete debut for the Qatar-owned club last weekend, but he was rested against Clermont.
In the Group A opening against Belgian champions Club Brugge, however, PSG coach Pochettino is anticipated to unleash the six-time Ballon d’Or winner from the start.
It will be the first time the superstar offensive trio has been on the pitch together for the Parisians if Neymar and Kylian Mbappe also starts.
Expectations are sky-high for both Messi and PSG in the Champions League, which they have yet to win yet covet more than anything else.
In a group that could not have been tougher, PSG will face Manchester City, the team who knocked them out in the semi-finals last season, as well as RB Leipzig, but this is a team prepared to go all the way.
“It makes me think of Liverpool when I arrived there. Liverpool were building a team to win the Premier League. Here I have joined a team that has been built to win something. I said to myself: ‘This is going to be massive’,” Georginio Wijnaldum told sports daily L’Equipe.
This summer, Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, flying full-back Achraf Hakimi, and former Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, as well as Portuguese prospect Nuno Mendes, joined Wijnaldum and Messi at the Parc des Princes.
Despite the fact that Ramos has yet to play and Messi has been slowly training, PSG has won five of their five Ligue 1 games, scoring 16 goals.
Some of their European competitors have been alarmed by their recruitment effort, as well as their choice to reject up to 200 million euros from Real Madrid for Mbappe despite the France star being in the final year of his contract.
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