So Lionel Messi will be lining up in a Paris St-Germain shirt this season after a roller-coaster week finally got some clarity after the Argentine agreed a two-year deal with the French giants following his abrupt departure from lifelong club Barcelona.
While Messi is regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, his move to Paris brings one remaining question: Where does he fit into the line-up?
- No Messi, no problem as Barcelona defeat Juventus 3-0 in pre-season friendly
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- Lionel Messi signs two-year deal with Paris St-Germain
- More problems for Barcelona as striker Aguero ruled out for 10 weeks
- Messi heads for new pastures at PSG as his departure leaves Barcelona in a mess
- PSG hold their breath in Lionel Messi waiting game
You see, PSG already have former Barcelona teammate Neymar and young France striker Kylian Mbappe on their books, both of whom would be in the starting XI of pretty much any club in the world.
With Messi’s arrival that is about to change that as PSG can boast the most potent line-up in football — MNM as I am hoping they will be called.
While some may question how they can fit in three big egos to a team, it could be the perfect fit. At 34, Messi cannot be expected to play in every game that could include deep runs in the French Cup and Champions League, along with a nine-month campaign in Ligue 1 to regain the domestic French title.
So, rotation, rotation, rotation could be the key to success for a club who relinquished their Ligue 1 crown to Lille last season and are still awaiting a first ever European Cup crown, something their Qatari owners crave above all.
However, Messi can easily be rested for games against lesser clubs in a domestic league (no offence Ligue 1) that looks fairly easy compared to the English Premier League, Serie A, La Liga and Bundesliga, and Messi, 34, can probably skip the French Cup quest altogether, keeping his older legs fresh for the ‘big’ games in Europe and France’s other big guns.
Injuries will also play a factor and any two of the three strikers can easily step up if one of the superstars is sidelined.
The knock-on effect is Mbappe and Neymar accepting to spend a bit more time on the bench as a three-pronged attack could be overkill in many easily winnable matches over an arduous season. But with the prospect of the biggest club title in the world now more of a reality than it ever has been in Paris, that is a price they will surely be willing to pay.
Over to you Chelsea, Manchester City, Bayern, Real Madrid, Barca et al, because facing PSG just became a lot more daunting. And the Champions League campaign just got a lot more interesting.