Lionel Messi makes Paris-Saint Germain debut, but Kylian Mbappé is the star of the show

However, it was Kylian Mbappé who stole the show on Messi’s special night, scoring both goals to continue PSG’s perfect start to the season.

The French star’s future has been the subject of intense scrutiny in recent weeks, with Real Madrid reportedly submitting two separate bids in excess of $180 million to try and prize the 22-year-old away from Paris.

Both offers have reportedly been rejected by PSG, though club sporting director Leonardo admitted last week that Mbappé wants to leave.

“Our chairman and Leonardo are very clear: he is here with us,” head coach Mauricio Pochettino said after Sunday’s game. “I am very happy to have him. He is a gift.”

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Having not played since the Copa América final in July, Messi missed the first two matches since joining PSG as he gradually works his way back up to full fitness.

It took 66 minutes for Pochettino to introduce him against Reims, sending the contingent of traveling PSG fans wild when Messi did finally step onto the pitch in a shirt other than that of Barcelona for the first time in his career.

There were brief flashes of the brilliance fans have become accustomed to when watching Messi over the years, but it may take a little time before he is up to speed and singing from the same hymn sheet as his teammates.

For the first time in his career, Lionel Messi wore a club shirt other than Barcelona's.

“It’s difficult at the moment because our players are all at different levels of fitness,” Pochettino told reports after the match. “He [Messi] was very good from the moment he entered the pitch.

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“Every time he touched the ball, he spread calm throughout the team. It’s important even for Lionel Messi to win on his debut.

“He can radiate an optimism and energy that everyone can feel and that can have a positive influence on the other players.”


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