Argentine superstar, Lionel Messi has been presented to a full stadium of Paris Saint-Germain fans before watching his team-mates beat Strasbourg 4-2 in Ligue 1 with Kylian Mbappe playing a starring role.
Messi received a rapturous reception as he ran out onto the pitch along with PSG’s other summer signings, with a 48,000-full house greeting the six-time Ballon d’Or winner despite the welcome ceremony taking place an hour before kick-off.
Messi joined fellow recruits Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Georginio Wijnaldum and Achraf Hakimi on a stage set up on the turf at the Parc des Princes, and the flashy presentation ceremony threatened to overshadow the match itself.
The Argentine later watched from the stands alongside Neymar and Angel di Maria – the trio not yet considered match-fit having enjoyed an extended break after playing at the Copa America – as Mauricio Pochettino’s team made it two wins from two Ligue 1 matches this season.
They led 3-0 at half-time thanks to goals by Mauro Icardi and Julian Draxler either side of a Ludovic Ajorque own goal, but Kevin Gameiro and Ajorque netted after the interval to bring the visitors back into the contest.
However Pablo Sarabia made sure of the win late on after Strasbourg had been reduced to 10 men in the first match played before a full house at the Parc des Princes since before the Covid-19 pandemic struck in March last year.
“With all that has been happening at the club, it was not easy to stay focused on the game,” Pochettino admitted to broadcaster Canal Plus.