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L. Messi

Inside Messi's first month at PSG: house hunting, welcome gifts and close relationship with Ramos

09:54 BST 15/09/2021
Lionel Messi Paris arrival 2021
Since arriving in Paris on August 10, the Argentine has been settling into his new life and could make his first start against Club Brugge

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.

If he has not been playing much competitive football, what has Messi been up to in his first month in France? Goal takes a look.

Welcome to Paris

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 previously 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.

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.

Settling in

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 been welcomed by close friend Neymar, ex-Barcelona team-mate Rafinha, and another friend in Marco Verratti, who he went on holiday with in Ibiza before his talks with Barca collapsed.

Perhaps more surprisingly, Messi has struck up a close relationship with Sergio Ramos, with whom he clashed often 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 team-mate into the PSG fold.

Meetings with the manager

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, although Pochettino is known for also wanting a close personal relationship with his players, and non-football topics have also been talked about.

When will Messi start for PSG?

Since training with his new club for the first time on August 12, Messi has been placed on an intensive and personalised programme to bring him up to speed with his team-mates as soon as possible.

He was still allowed to travel to South America for Argentina's World Cup qualifiers at the start of the month, where PSG got an almighty scare as Messi was scythed down in a bad tackle during the win over Venezuela.

He emerged unscathed however, and the extraordinary abandonment of the game with Brazil had the positive side effect from a PSG perspective of giving Messi more time to rest.

Messi is eager to play against Club Brugge in the Champions League on Wednesday - and with PSG desperate to finally land the European trophy, a first start for their most prized asset is a distinct possibility.

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