Author of his first double in Ligue 1 on the lawn of Montpellier, Lionel Messi offered himself a great opportunity to smile after a difficult season for him in the French championship. Two goals against an MHSC already on vacation which do not erase a year well below expectations, but which give hope for the best for the continuation of the adventure of the Pulga in the capital.
There was a kind of reminiscence of his years in Barcelona to see Lionel Messi easily dribble Dimitry Bertaud on his face-to-face, before offering his first double on a Ligue 1 pitch. smile, as a season comes to an end which will have seen him struggling more often than shining in the four corners of France. A few minutes earlier, the Rosarino already opened the scoring on a projection in the surface that we have seen him do too little since he put on the red and blue tunic. Often as a maestro lower in the game, this time he went towards the goal. With success. Audacity that could have allowed him to return to Paris with the match ball, if Kylian Mbappé had not been in an illicit position shortly after the hour mark.
The tree that does not hide the forest
Six shots, four on target, 92 balls hit, four successful dribbles out of five attempted, four key passes (highest Parisian total): the influence of Leo Messi in the Parisian game has rarely been as important as in Montpellier since his debut. Not in the rhythm of Ligue 1 throughout the fall, the six-time Ballon d’Or had only been decisive six times at Christmas. Worse, the visual impression left at each outing was painful to see for a player who has so accustomed football fans to splurge every weekend, or almost. With this double, the guy now has six goals and thirteen assists before the curtain goes down next Saturday against Metz. This is obviously less than expected when he saw him set foot at Le Bourget airport on August 10, despite an improvement over the months.
This match in Montpellier, mastered head and shoulders by Kylian Mbappé and his gang, is part of this continuity. “It is clear that Barcelona’s move to Paris Saint-Germain was a change in which an adaptation process was necessary. Certain circumstances did not allow him to feel as comfortable as in Barcelona where he had spent 20 years. Where he had been the flag bearer of the club” Mauricio Pochettino recently affirmed to Europe 1. It was a year of learning, and not only at the professional level coming to Paris Saint-Germain, in a new league and with new teammates, but also at the family level. You have to take that into account. »
Enjoy the month of August
Above all, the Argentinian technician – whose chances of still being seated on the PSG bench at the start of next season are very slim – promised a Messi of a completely different caliber from August. “Messi has enough talent to do what he has to do. He is going to do it. Next season will be a completely different season for him.” he affirmed again, placing the Pulga at the same level as a certain Diego Armando Maradona. A hypothesis that takes on a little depth when reading his performance in the Hérault, even if it will take a lot more to convince that he still has the shoulders to carry PSG to the heights.
Still under contract at the foot of the Eiffel Tower until June 2023, Lionel Messi will indeed extend the adventure for a year, whatever the case. With the obligation to pass a second exercise much more successful than the first, in a team which could see its X factor, Kylian Mbappé, leave. After a summer relieved of all international competition, a complete preparation and relieved of the weight of a necessary adaptation, can Lionel Messi overturn the table? This would constitute a new tour de force in the career of the Argentine genius.
By Tom Binet