The 35-year-old solely returned to coaching within the new yr after taking day off to have fun and recuperate after Qatar 2022, the place he lastly captured the trophy that had all the time eluded him in one of many the most effective endings ever.
However the striker didn’t seem like affected by a hangover as he returned to motion with a objective from distance in PSG’s 2-0 win over Angers on Wednesday.
Messi additionally paid tribute to him Pele earlier than the sport, becoming a member of his teammates in sporting a shirt with the Brazilian’s face on it in the course of the warm-up.
PSG sit comfortably on the prime of the league regardless of Christophe Galtier having to modify groups as he eases the gamers again in after the World Cup.
Defeated finalist Kylian Mbappe was rested for Wednesday’s sport, permitting teen Hugo Ekitiké to play.
The 20-year-old striker has impressed when given the prospect this season and opened the scoring with an ideal end within the first half.
Messi, who led the assault alongside Neymar Jr., doubled the lead within the 72nd minute after a well-timed run and right-footed end.
The linesman had initially referred to as for offside, however the digital assistant referee (VAR) overruled the decision and the objective was awarded.
Messi’s comeback win is nice information for PSG, who misplaced within the league for the primary time this season final week, 3-1 in opposition to Lens.
“Sure, it was crucial to get again to profitable type. We now have rivals who’re urgent loads,” Galtier instructed PSGTV after the match.
“We knew that we have been going to have a tough sport as a result of Angers is a workforce that performs good soccer and poses large issues at a tactical degree.
“I additionally insist that the state of affairs – post-World Cup – signifies that we had many absent gamers, that the group was very dispersed and that, little by little, everyone seems to be coming again and reconnecting.”
PSG, who’re six factors forward of the desk, play Rennes of their subsequent sport on Sunday.