Lionel Messi has been included in Paris Saint-Germain‘s squad for Sunday’s Ligue 1 trip to Reims. PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino said Messi would not start the match but would likely come on in the second half.
Messi, 34, signed a two-year deal with PSG with an option for a third year after his contract with Barcelona expired, but he has yet to feature in the squad since joining on Aug. 10.
Messi has not played since winning the Copa America with Argentina against Brazil on July 11.
“He is going to be on the bench, he arrived later, he is working hard. He is very motivated. He’s a great professional who is adapting very fast to his new teammates and to a new context,” Pochettino said. “He has the capacity to adapt to a new league.”
Oscar Garcia’s Reims have yet to taste defeat this season, but the former Barcelona player and academy coach is under no illusions about the danger Messi carries.
“Nobody’s ever found the formula or the way to stop him as an individual,” he said. “I’d have preferred not to face him, because it would mean that he is still at Barcelona.
“But for the French league it’s a very positive sign that the best players in the world, or the best in the world in this case, can come to this league. For me and my players it’s a challenge to play against the best team in Europe, and I would say in the world.”