Messi in line for PSG Champions League debut after making squad for Club Brugge showdown

By Sports Desk September 14, 2021

Lionel Messi is set to make his first appearance in the Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain after being included in the squad to face Club Brugge on Wednesday.

The Argentina superstar made a shock move to the Parc des Princes on a free transfer last month after Barcelona were unable to meet LaLiga's financial requirements to offer him a new contract.

So far, Messi has played only 24 minutes of football for PSG, that coming as a substitute in the 4-0 rout of Reims before the international break. 

It remains to be seen if Messi will start against Brugge but he is in the travelling party for the trip to Belgium.

Messi is one of the most decorated players in Champions League history, having won the competition four times with Barca.

It he does play, it would represent a landmark 150th appearance for Messi in Europe's premier competition, and first not playing for Los Cules.

He has scored an incredible 120 Champions League goals, a tally surpassed only by the 135 of Manchester United star and long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

During their time together at Barcelona, Messi and Neymar combined for nine Champions League goals in 33 appearances alongside one another (five Messi goals, four Neymar goals). Since 2003-04, only six duos have combined for 10 or more goals in the competition, with three of those pairs involving Messi – 15 with Andres Iniesta, 12 with Luis Suarez and 10 with Dani Alves.

However, centre-back Sergio Ramos must continue his wait to make his debut for PSG. Signed on a free transfer from Real Madrid, the Spain legend remains absent with a left thigh injury.

Ramos is also a four-time winner of the Champions League, lifting the trophy three years in succession between 2016 and 2018.

Related items

  • Liverpool confirm victory parade for day after Champions League final Liverpool confirm victory parade for day after Champions League final

    Quadruple-chasing Liverpool have confirmed plans for an end-of-season victory parade the day after the Champions League final.

    Jurgen Klopp's Reds do not yet know how many trophies they will finish the campaign with, but they have already secured the EFL Cup and FA Cup.

    The Premier League could yet be added to that haul if Manchester City slip up on the final day of the season, while European glory is the target when Liverpool take on Real Madrid in a Paris final.

    That showpiece match takes place on May 28, with Liverpool now intending to return home in time to celebrate their potentially historic season on May 29.

    Liverpool Women will also be involved in the parade, having won the FA Women's Championship.

    City mayor Joanne Anderson said: "We're delighted that we can now confirm the club will definitely parade around the city on May 29 – and I'm pleased we will be celebrating the achievements of both the men and women’s teams.

    "A huge amount of work goes on behind the scenes in preparation for an event of this size and scale, so it's fantastic that the city is now going to be able to experience this.

    "Lifting the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup and the FA Women's Championship trophy is an incredible achievement that deserves to be acknowledged, and we have everything crossed that they won't be the only trophies they are lifting on the day!

    "Whatever the outcome of the end of the season and the Champions League final, Liverpool FC and Liverpool FC Women have already done us proud, and we will give both teams the homecoming celebration they deserve."

    With the parade set for 4pm local time, a Liverpool statement added the club would spend the morning of May 29 paying tribute to the 39 supporters who lost their lives in the Heysel Stadium disaster, of which it is the 37th anniversary.

  • Rumour Has It: Man City eye Phillips as Fernandinho replacement Rumour Has It: Man City eye Phillips as Fernandinho replacement

    Manchester City's dramatic Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid this season is apparently cause for another raid on the transfer market.

    After already wrapping up Erling Haaland's transfer from Borussia Dortmund, the midfield is the next area of business.

    With veterans in the midfield likely on their way out at the Etihad Stadium at this end of this season, replacements could soon be on the way.

    TOP STORY – CITY EYE PHILLIPS AS FERNANDINHO REPLACEMENT 

    Manchester City have emerged as contenders for the signature of Leeds United and England midfielder Kalvin Phillips, according to the Mirror.

    While Manchester United have also identified Phillips as a potential addition for their midfield, the 26-year-old has reportedly made it clear to his inner circle that he will not join Leeds' fierce rivals.

    However, Phillips would appear likely to leave Leeds if they are relegated, with West Ham, Aston Villa and Newcastle United all also linked.

    Fernandinho will depart City at the end of the season, while Ilkay Gundogan could follow, and the £50million-rated Phillips is a more attainable target than £100m international team-mate Declan Rice.

    ROUND-UP

    – According to Bild, Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to move on a deal for Liverpool's Sadio Mane amid reports he is stalling on a renewal of his contract, which expires in 2023.

    – Incoming Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has added Ajax's Lisandro Martinez to the list of players he wants to bring to Old Trafford, the Telegraph is reporting.

    United have also shown renewed interest in Lazio and Serbia midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, per Calciomercato.

    – Chelsea want to sign Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of this season, Mundo Deportivo reports.

  • Fagundez sends Austin top in West with win over LAFC Fagundez sends Austin top in West with win over LAFC

    Austin FC moved to the top of the Western Conference in MLS on Wednesday, securing a gritty 2-1 win over Los Angeles FC.

    Goals from Ruben Gabrielsen and Diego Fagundez gave Austin the vital three points, with Carlos Vela's response from the penalty spot in the 86th minute providing mere consolation for LAFC.

    Gabrielsen put the home side in front in the 13th minute after Fagundez zipped a dangerous corner in, coolly finishing when the ball fell his way.

    Josh Wolff's side looked to absorb pressure from LAFC, and Fagundez was able to double their advantage in the 80th minute after he was played through by Sebastian Driussi.

    Vela's goal, which made him the third-fastest player to 100 MLS goal involvements (98 games), was not enough for a largely passive LAFC, who could not translate possession into chances of substance. They accumulated a non-penalty expected goals total of 1.12 from the 17 shots aside from Vela's spot-kick.

    Austin lead LAFC on goal difference atop the West on 23 points, with FC Dallas remaining on 22 points after the Vancouver Whitecaps came from behind to defeat them 2-1 late on.

    The LA Galaxy missed their chance to make up ground, only managing a 1-1 draw with Minnesota United despite Sacha Kljestan putting them ahead in the 83rd minute.

    Elsewhere in the West, the Seattle Sounders continued their recovery from a slow start to the season, defeating the Houston Dynamo 1-0, while Sporting Kansas City beat the Colorado Rapids 2-1 in a game that saw four red cards in stoppage time.

    A Jamiro Monteiro brace helped the San Jose Earthquakes defeat the Portland Timbers 3-2, as Nashville's strong start at GEODIS Park continued with a 2-1 victory over CF Montreal.

    New York City gained ground on the Philadelphia Union with a 2-0 win over DC United, scoring twice in the first half to move within a point of the Eastern Conference leaders, who were held to a goalless draw by Inter Miami.

    In Wednesday's early result, Xherdan Shaqiri scored what he thought was a late winner for the Chicago Fire, only for the New York Red Bulls' Patryk Klimala to score in the first minute of stoppage time to secure a 3-3 draw.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.