Galtier backs in Messi for 'great season' after opening Ligue 1 campaign with double

By Sports Desk August 07, 2022

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Christophe Galtier has backed Lionel Messi to shake off last term's challenges and have a "great season" after opening the Ligue 1 campaign with a double.

Messi capped off PSG's 5-0 win at Clermont on Saturday with two late goals, including a spectacular over-head strike. Neymar, Achraf Hakimi and Marquinhos all scored in the first half.

The Argentine's double comes after he only managed 11 goals in all competitions in his first season in the French capital following his move from Barcelona, while he struggled to find cohesion alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappe last term too.

"He had a bit of a difficult season last season, he had to fit in," Galtier told reporters.

"There was a radical change but in every season before that he has at least 30 goals.

"He went through a complete pre-season. When he has his bearing both in terms of his family life but also in terms of his club, the team and his fellow players, there is no reason why Leo should not have a great season."

Galtier, who took over at PSG from Mauricio Pochettino last month, was glowing in his praise of Messi having spoken at length during their pre-season tour of Japan.

"I spoke with Leo during our time in Japan and I also talked with my attacking players to make sure that he could perform well all the time," he said.

"Leo has a very sharp tactical sense, very clear. He has vision. He quickly sees where he has to go.

"The way he defends, the way he positions himself to play with others. He can get into the zone. He likes to play with the players he has around him.

"From there, when Leo smiles obviously, the team smiles too."

PSG are in action next weekend in the league at home to Montpellier.

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