Messi's start to life at PSG goes from bad to worse with new injury

Stefan Bienkowski
Lionel Messi, PSG, 2021/22

Lionel Messi may be the best player in the world but even demi-gods can sometimes become victims to misfortune.

While the Argentina international may not have planned on departing Barcelona this summer and making the move to Paris Saint-Germain, he would have certainly assumed the star-studded Parisian side would be an easy transition for him.

However, that hasn’t exactly gone to plan thus far and while we’re still only a month or so into the new season, it wouldn’t be unfair to say Messi hasn’t had the best start to life at his new club.

A stuttering start on the pitch

Messi didn’t join PSG until after their first Ligue 1 game of the season, but he didn’t make his league debut for the club until matchday 4 - 19 days after he joined the club - due to fitness concerns and even then it was just a 24 minute cameo in a 2-0 win over Stade Reims.

The Argentina international was then allowed to sit out the next league clash with Clermont Foot, before playing a full 90 minutes in a hugely underwhelming performance against Club Brugge in the Champions League, which PSG drew 1-1.

Messi wasn't happy about coming off against Lyon

Messi wasn't happy about coming off against Lyon

Messi then started his first high-profile clash for PSG against Lyon at the weekend, but was unceremoniously subbed off on the 76th minute as Mauricio Pochettino’s side went chasing a late winner - the first time the player has been taken off in a game his team aren’t winning since 2010.

And while PSG went on to win the game, the post-match reaction was dominated by footage of the player refusing to shake his manager’s hand as he walked off the pitch and the disgruntled look on his face in the stands.

Naturally, such a reaction has sparked concerns over Pochettino’s standing at the club if Messi isn’t entirely enamoured or convincingly supportive of his tactical solutions during games.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, news arrived on Tuesday that confirmed the reason behind Messi’s substitution was due to a knee injury that would now rule him out of PSG’s next game against Metz in midweek. A scan later in the week would then decide whether he’d be fit for the weekend clash with Montpellier.

To date, Messi has featured in just three of PSG’s six games and just 35% of the available game minutes that have taken place since he arrived at the club. A rather horrid return for the best player in the world and far from what the French giants would have been hoping for when they signed him in the summer.