Lionel Messi’s debut for PSG broke Ligue 1 viewing records
At long last, Lionel Messi made his long-awaited debut in Ligue 1-a match between Paris Saint Germain and Reims which broke the viewing records in the Ligue.
The sight of arguably the greatest footballer of all time lining up for another club side may well have been jarring but, rest assured, you would not have been alone in feeling like that.
Lionel Messi’s first official Paris Saint-Germain appearance was watched by an average of over two million viewers in Spain. This made it the most-watched French football game in the country ever.
Messi made his first appearance for PSG in their 2-0 win at Reims, following his move from Barcelona on a free transfer this summer.
The 34-year-old replaced Neymar for the last 30 minutes after Kylian Mbappe had netted the match-winning brace.
Messi’s debut was broadcast on the free-to-air channel Telecinco in Spain.
The figures released on Monday show that the match had an average audience of 2.2 million viewers, making it the most-watched program in the country.
In total, over 6.7 million people tuned in to watch PSG’s win at some point during the 90 minutes.
Barcelona’s 2-1 win over Getafe in La Liga, meanwhile, which was on pay-per-view television, averaged 591,000 viewers.
And, although Messi’s arrival will surely do little to increase the competitiveness of the division, particularly amid the other signings PSG made over the course of the summer, his mere presence in the French capital is a major boost for the league.
With Kylian Mbappe seemingly destined for Real Madrid at some point over the next year or so, being able to call on a six-time Ballon d’Or winner to sponsorship and broadcast deals is surely a much-needed shot in the arm.
Having made his bow in France, the world awaits as Messi gears up to dominate another country’s goalscoring charts for the first time in his career.