Lionel Messi marked his comeback to Paris Saint-Germain with a goal in his first match after winning the World Cup.
The athlete, who is 35 years old, resumed training in the beginning of the year after taking a break to commemorate and recover from the Qatar 2022 event. This was where he triumphantly earned the trophy that had always eluded him, in what is considered one of the most remarkable finals.
However, the forward did not appear to be experiencing any lingering effects as he resumed play and scored a goal from a short distance in PSG’s 2-0 victory over Angers on Wednesday.
Before the game, Messi and his teammates honored Pelé by wearing a t-shirt with the Brazilian legend’s face during the warm-up.
Despite having to rotate players as they recover from the World Cup, PSG remains in first place in the league.
Kylian Mbappé, a beaten finalist in Qatar, was rested for Wednesday’s match, allowing the likes of youngster Hugo Ekitiké to get some game time.
The young 20-year-old player has shown great skill this season and scored the first goal with a smooth shot in the first half.
Messi, who worked in tandem with Neymar Jr. on the offensive end, extended the lead in the 72nd minute with a perfectly timed run and right-footed shot.
The linesman originally signaled for an offside, but the Virtual Assistant Referee (VAR) overturned the decision and the goal was awarded.
PSG received a boost with Messi’s comeback victory, which comes as a relief after losing 3-1 to Lens in their first league match of the season last week.
Gradually, everyone is returning.
“Yes, it was very important to get back to winning ways. We have rivals who are pushing hard,” Galtier told PSGTV after the game.
“We were aware that the upcoming game would be challenging, as Angers is a team known for their skilled play and strategic approach that often poses significant challenges.”
Furthermore, I would like to emphasize that due to the post-World Cup circumstances, we have had numerous players who were absent. This has resulted in a fragmented group dynamic. However, as time passes, we are gradually regaining our players and reestablishing our cohesion.
The next game for PSG, who currently leads the table by six points, will be against Rennes on Sunday.