Lionel Messi’s arrival at Paris Saint-Germain has created a positive mood on the Ligue 1 club but is unlikely to play a role in Saturday’s home game against Strasbourg, coach Mauricio Pochettino said. Speaking at Friday’s press conference ahead of the league football match after Messi joined PSG from Barcelona, Mauricio Pochettino said his first task was to make sure a starry outfit starts showing the sum of the pieces.
PSG lost the French league title to Lille last season and was eliminated in the Champions League semi-finals by Manchester City, despite boasting in their ranks with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Angel Di Maria. Messi’s joining will raise hopes among fans and the board of directors of the Qatar-owned club, whose management has invested heavily in trying to win the original title in the European club competition.
But Pochettino, who took over from PSG in the middle of last season in January, gained attention after the 34-year-old Messi moved from Barcelona, his only previous professional club. “Our challenge now is to ensure that all these top players form a team that is capable of taking on all the challenges it faces. We want to make sure that this team becomes a strong unit,” Pochettino said.
“As far as we can see Leo Messi in action, this is the second day of training, a month after playing the last match in the Copa America. We’ll do things step by step, get to know each other, and make him feel fit and comfortable so that he can start when he is fully fit.”
Asked about the future of striker Kylian Mbappe, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, either during the current transfer window or next summer, when his contract with PSG expires, Pochettino said: “Kylian is our player. We all know that Leo Messi is one of the best or best players in the world, there is no doubt about it. However, we have other players and Kylian is also one of the best players in the world.”