When will Lionel Messi make his PSG debut? Why fitness could delay first game after Barcelona transfer

Messi is set to be paraded before PSG’s match against Strasbourg on Saturday but fans may have to wait a little longer to see him in action

Messi speaks to the media after being unveiled by PSG (Photo: Reuters)
Messi speaks to the media after being unveiled by PSG (Photo: Reuters)

Lionel Messi admitted he is “impatient” to get started at Paris Saint-Germain but fears a lack of match fitness could delay his debut.

The 34-year-old has signed a two-year deal with the option of a third at the Ligue 1 club after his 21-year stay at Barcelona came to an end.

Messi is expected to be paraded at the Parc des Princes on Saturday before PSG’s Ligue 1 match against Strasbourg but fans may have to wait a little longer until they see him in action.

“Actually, I don’t know. I was on holidays and it’s very new,” Messi told reporters when asked about his debut during his official unveiling on Wednesday morning.

“I spoke yesterday with the technical staff, so, maybe I need a pre-season.

“I’m going to begin to train and work and I hope I can play as soon as I can, when the staff thinks I’m OK, I’ll be ready.”

Messi is set to link up with former Barcelona team-mate Neymar and French forward Kylian Mbappe in what promises to be one of the most exciting front-lines ever assembled in football.

The 34-year-old expressed his joy at signing for the club and is determined to add more trophies to his collection.

“I am very happy. You all know about my exit from Barcelona and it has been a very hard moment after so many years. It was a difficult change after so long a time.

“But the moment I arrived here I felt very happy and I really want to begin the training sessions, I want it to be quick.

“My only will now is to begin the training sessions. I want to work with the staff and team-mates and begin this new moment of my life.

“I have this will to play. I am really impatient. I still want to win, as I did the first moment of my career.

“I feel this club is ready to fight for all the trophies. This is my goal, I want to keep growing and keep winning titles and that is why I came to this club.

“I really hope we can make it happen.”

When could Messi make his PSG debut?

If Messi is not fit in time for his debut against Strasbourg on Saturday then he could make his bow at Brest on Friday or at Reims the following week.

PSG’s next home game is against newly-promoted Clermont after the international break on the weekend of 11-13 September.

PSG fixtures:

  • PSG vs Strasbourg – 8pm on Sat 14 Aug
  • Brest vs PSG – 8pm on Fri 20 Aug
  • Reims vs PSG – 7.45pm on Sun 29 Aug
  • PSG vs Clermont – TBC on 11-13 Sep
  • PSG vs Lyon – TBC on 17-19 Sep
  • Metz vs PSG – TBC on Weds 22 Sep
  • PSG vs Montpellier – TBC on 24-26 Sep

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said the signing of Messi represented a significant statement.

“This is an amazing and historic day for the club, for the football world and for us,” he said.

“It is amazing what we tried to achieve. On the first day we (the Qatari ownership) started here at the club 10 years go people were saying, ‘What are they going to do with their project?’.

“We had high ambitions and we are very proud of where we are today.

“There was a great desire on both sides to make this happen. This is just the start and the hard work will start now.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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