Lionel Messi made his Paris Saint-Germain debut away at Reims on Sunday evening.
The legendary Argentine forward was named on the substitutes’ bench by PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino, who opted for a front three comprised of Neymar, Angel Di Maria and the unsettled Kylian Mbappe.
It was Mbappe who opened the scoring in the 16th minute of the match, heading Di Maria’s cross past Reims goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic.
There’s a chance that was Mbappe’s penultimate goal for PSG.
Real Madrid are attempting to strike a mega-money deal with the Parisians to sign the World Cup winner before the transfer window closes on Tuesday.
PSG risk losing Mbappe for nothing next summer and the 22-year-old has no plans, as things stand, to extend his contract at the Parc des Princes.
The cameras cut to Messi sat on the subs bench on several occasions during the first half.
The 34-year-old, whose 21-year association with Barcelona came to an abrupt end this summer, was seen in conversation with a couple of teammates including Ander Herrera.
Pochettino made no changes at the half-time interval and Reims thought they’d equalised shortly after the break, only for VAR to disallow Marshall Munetsi’s goal for offside.
The moment Lionel Messi made his PSG debut
Midway through the second half came the moment all football fans had been waiting for: Messi making his first PSG appearance after leaving Barça.
Even Reims fans were heard cheering as the six-time Ballon d’Or winner emerged from the dugout to warm up.
Mbappe doubled his – and PSG’s tally – with 25 minutes remaining before Messi made his PSG bow.
Here’s the moment Messi came on – replacing his good friend Neymar – and it looked and felt rather odd to see him wearing another team’s shirt…
Here’s another angle from the stands…
How did Messi do on his PSG debut?
Messi looked bright after entering the fray but wasn’t able to mark his maiden appearance with a goal.
He embarked on a couple of direct runs through the middle of the pitch and combined well with Mbappe, but PSG fans only got a small taster of what’s to come from arguably the greatest footballer of all time.
He only misplaced one of his 20 passes, per Squawka.
Messi will be looking to open his account for his new club after the international break.
PSG face Clermont in their next Ligue 1 match before facing Club Brugge in the Champions League.
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