Messi poised for PSG debut against Reims, says hopeful Pochettino
Lionel Messi could be in line for his Paris Saint-Germain debut against Reims in Ligue 1 next weekend, says Mauricio Pochettino, as the Argentine closes in on his first game for the club.
The former Barcelona forward brought the curtain down on a glittering Camp Nou career in particularly wounded circumstances earlier this year following the club's inabiility to re-sign him.
Now, the attacker, who has headlined an influx of major talents at Parc des Princes this summer, is fast approaching a maiden match in their colours, according to his manager.
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What has been said?
"It's been a very good week for Leo," Pochettino told ESPN Argentina, after his side's 4-2 win over Brest on Friday.
"Next week will be a long one, but if all goes well, we hope he can be in the squad and start at a competitive level [against Reims]."
Pochettino also confirmed that the club would not stand in Messi's way if he elects to link up with the Argentina national team ahead of their Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers next month.
"I have not yet spoken with the selectors," he added. "But they know that I am pro-selection and that we are to help not only Argentina, but all those nations which involve our players."
The bigger picture
The lure of playing under a fellow countryman is thought to have helped swing Messi towards PSG following his Barca exit, and the 34-year-old will be hopeful to feature in some capacity against Reims.
Having not played since he led Argentina to Copa America glory - his first major senior honour for his country - during the international off-season, he will be hoping to pick up minutes ahead of matches with Venezuela and Bolivia.