According to French daily L’Equipe, Lionel Messi will not be in Paris St Germain’s squad for Friday’s (August 20, 2021) Ligue 1 match against Brest, while his former Barcelona teammate Neymar has also been left out.
Italy’s Euro 2020 winning goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma has been called up, along with compatriot Marco Verratti, Marquinhos, and Angel Di Maria, according to L’Equipe.
Verratti was also a member of the Italian team that defeated England on penalties in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley, while Di Maria scored the game-winning goal in Argentina’s 1-0 win against hosts Brazil in the Copa America final.
PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino had left open the potential of Messi making his debut against Brest earlier on Thursday when he refused to say whether the six-time Ballon d’Or winner would eventually make his debut.
Lionel Messi, 34, has yet to make an appearance for PSG since signing from Barcelona earlier this month, and he was introduced to the supporters ahead of Saturday’s 4-2 home win against Strasbourg.
Pochettino told a news conference at PSG’s training camp, “Everything is positive.”
“There’s a good vibe in the squad, and (Messi) has adjusted well and swiftly.” “I have a wonderful feeling.”
After helping Argentina win the Copa America, Messi had not trained in over a month.
Messi left Barcelona on a free transfer after the Catalan club’s president Joan Laporta declared they couldn’t afford to keep him after a 17-year career in which he won 10 LaLiga and four Champions League trophies.
Pochettino also dismissed rumors that Kylian Mbappe might leave PSG during the current transfer window, claiming that the France World Cup champion was a target for Real Madrid, according to sources.
Pochettino stated, “Mbappe is our player, and I want him to be here this season.”
“His contract is up for renewal in a year. Even if he does not renew his contract, he is still a PSG player, and we are very happy with him, as is he with us, from what I gather.
“He’s cool and collected, and he’s well-prepared for tomorrow’s game.”
PSG can jump three points clear at the top of the table if they beat Brest to make it three wins in a row to reclaim the league title from Lille last season.
They are currently in third place with six points, one goal behind leaders Anger and promoted Clermont Foot.
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