Connect with us

Manchester United

Messi, Mbappé and Neymar join forces for the first time since the World Cup



Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe together before PSG’s match against Auxerre in Paris in November.

Paris Saint-Germain’s trip to Rennes on Sunday will be the first time superstar trio Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar have played together since the World Cup.

Mbappe returned to training on Thursday having been given 10 days off after returning from Qatar and playing in PSG’s first two matches after the tournament. He flew to New York for a break and was nowhere to be seen when Messi made his comeback, scoring in the Ligue 1 leaders’ 2-0 win against Angers on Wednesday.

The World Cup has been a clear motivating factor in the trio’s excellent form during the opening months of the season, and how they play together will be crucial in determining how the rest of the season unfolds for PSG. They are six points ahead of Lens before finishing the first part of the season in Rennes but the Champions League is their main objective.

Galtier described Messi, 35, as ‘relaxed and physically fit’ after his first game since captaining Argentina to a penalty shoot-out win in an epic World Cup final against Mbappé’s France last month. The question now is how motivated the former Barcelona star is after this career-defining triumph.

PSG are keen to extend his contract in the French capital for a third season and Messi’s main aim will now be to win the Champions League for the first time since 2015. Fueled by losing the World Cup final despite a hat-trick, 2018 world champions Mbappe will be desperate to get their hands on the Champions League trophy for the first time. Neymar, on the other hand, seems a bit of an underdog – he left the World Cup in tears when Brazil lost on penalties in the quarter-finals, aware that his chance to lift that trophy might be gone forever. He was then sent off in PSG’s first match after Qatar against Strasbourg, ending a miserable end to 2022.

But for PSG, it’s not just about those three.

They appear light in defense, where they rely too much on an aging Sergio Ramos, and are undermuscled in midfield, an area where a fragile Marco Verratti is their key player. Galtier insists they still need time to get back on track. “We’re just starting to get used to playing together again and sometimes you could tell we were missing some of the player connections we had before the World Cup,” he said .
What’s your take on PSG players coming together in full force. Is it going to be an easy ride or expect the unexpected.