The arrival of Lionel Messi in Paris Saint-Germain has created a positive mood in the Ligue 1 team, but it is unlikely to play a role in Saturday’s home game against Strasbourg, said coach Mauricio Pochettino.
Speaking at Friday’s press conference ahead of the league game after Messi joined PSG from Barcelona earlier this week, Pochettino added that his first task was to make sure a star-studded uniform began to show the sum of its parts.
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PSG handed over the French league title to Lille last season and were knocked out of the Champions League semi-finals by Manchester City despite holding Neymar, Killian Baba and Angel Di Maria in their ranks.
The addition of Messi will boost the expectations of the fans and the board of the Qatar-owned club, whose management has invested heavily in an effort to see the club win its maiden title in Europe’s top club event.
But Pochettino, who took over at PSG in the middle of last season in January, took note after the 34-year-old Messi arrived from Barcelona, his only previous professional club.
It is the second day of his training after a month since the last time he played in the Copa America. We will do things step by step, get to know each other and make him feel fit and comfortable, so that he is able to make his debut when he is fully in shape. Mauricio Pochettino, PSG coach
It is the second day of his training after a month since the last time he played in the Copa America. We will do things step by step, we will meet and make him feel fit and comfortable, so that he can make his debut when he is fully in shape. Mauricio Pochettino, PSG coach
“Our challenge now is to ensure that all these top players will form a team capable of meeting all the challenges ahead,” Pochettino said. “We want to ensure that this team becomes a strong unit.
“As for when we will see Leo Messi in action, it is the second day of his training after a month since he played his last game in the Copa America.
“We will do things step by step, we will meet and make him feel fit and comfortable, so that he can make his debut when he is fully in shape.”
Messi, who has won 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League titles during his 17-year tenure at Barcelona, led Argentina to the Copa America title, beating Brazil 1-0 at home to traditional rivals in the 11th final. July.
Asked about the future of striker Bape, who is linked with a move to Real Madrid either during the current transfer window or next summer, when his contract with PSG expires, Pochettino said: “Kailian is our player .
“We all know that Leo Messi is the best or one of the best players in the world, without a doubt. However, we have other players as well and Killian is also one of the best players in the world.”