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Lionel Messi played only 25 minutes against Reims in PSG’s shirt

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14 Sep 2021
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Ligue 1

Messi arrived in Paris on August 10 following his stunning departure from Barcelona amid much fanfare and has been settling into his new life behind the scenes in France.

Messi has never been at the centre of a transfer saga

So far, a little over 25 minutes against Reims at the end of August is all we have seen of Lionel Messi in a Paris Saint-Germain shirt. Messi arrived in Paris on August 10 following his stunning departure from Barcelona amid much fanfare and has been settling into his new life behind the scenes in France. Messi, who spent his entire career at Barcelona up until his shock departure this summer with the Catalan club no longer able to afford him, has never previously been at the centre of a transfer saga – so has not once felt the adoration which comes from joining a new club as a star signing. The rapturous welcome he has received in Paris has surprised but pleased Messi, who is currently staying at the Royal Monceau hotel while he and his family find a permanent place to stay.

Di Maria and Paredes have worked particularly hard to make Leo feel welcome

Having left their quiet Castelldefels villa behind, Messi’s family are currently house hunting and are primarily looking to the affluent western suburbs of Paris, such as Vaucresson, Bougival and Neuilly-sur-Seine, the latter being where club and country colleagues Leandro Paredes and Angel Di Maria live. At PSG, Messi has been reunited with several friends, which has helped him integrate quickly into the dressing room atmosphere. The presence of several other South American stars means the predominant language is Spanish, another bonus for Messi. Di Maria and Paredes have worked particularly hard to make Messi feel welcome. A few weeks after his arrival, Messi was gifted a painting by French artist Kamal Hill by Paredes, depicting Argentina’s celebrations after winning the Copa America last summer.

Along with the Argentine duo, Messi has also welcomed close friend Neymar, ex-Barcelona teammate Rafinha, and another friend in Marco Verratti, whom he went on holiday with within Ibiza before his talks with Barca collapsed. Perhaps more surprisingly, Messi has struck up a close relationship with Sergio Ramos, with whom he often clashed in Barcelona-Real Madrid matches. Some had predicted tension between the pair, however pictures of the two in discussion shortly after Messi’s signing were not faked, and Ramos has worked hard to welcome his new teammate into the PSG fold. Since speaking to Mauricio Pochettino for the first time a few days before his transfer was confirmed, Messi has had several discussions with the PSG boss and his assistant, Jesus Perez.

Messi’s exact role in the PSG XI has been the main topic under discussion. However, Pochettino is known for also wanting a close personal relationship with his players, and non-football issues have also been talked about.

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