Lionel Messi got his first start for Paris Saint-Germain in Wednesday’s Champions League group game against Club Bruges.
The superstar striker joined PSG on a free transfer from Barcelona last month and made his debut as a substitute in the second half in a 2-0 Ligue 1 win over Reims on August 29.
He was not considered for selection against Clermont Foot last weekend after returning from Argentine service late but was part of PSG’s travel group for the match in Bruges.
And the six-time Ballon d’Or winner was named to the starting line-up of the French giants at the Jan Breydel Stadium in a high-profile attack that included Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
It’s the first time the trio have appeared on the field together for PSG, with Neymar being the player who gave way to Messi when he made his only previous appearance.
A new Champions League experience for Messi …
… Will he score at Club Brugge on his UCL debut in Paris? pic.twitter.com/5WvWClLz8x
– UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) September 15, 2021
Messi made his 150th appearance in the Champions League and his first without Barcelona, scoring 120 goals and providing 35 assists in the competition.
The 34-year-old had never played against a Belgian team in the main European competition before and scored against teams from all 17 other nations he had played before Wednesday.
– Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_inside) September 15, 2021
Elsewhere in the team named by Mauricio Pochettino in Belgium, Keylor Navas was selected in goal ahead of Gianluigi Donnarumma after losing his place between the sticks last weekend.
PSG have scored at least one goal in each of the last 32 Champions League group stage games, a streak that dates back to November 2015 – the longest series of goals currently in the competition’s group stage.