Lionel Messi played his first ever game in club football without a Barcelona jersey on Sunday night.
After one of the most earth-shattering transfers in the history of the sport, football fans around the globe must have felt like adjusting their screens when Messi came on against Reims.
Besides, there was just something infinitely baffling about seeing Messi take to the field in a Paris Saint-Germain jersey no matter how much attention has surrounded the move this summer.
Messi makes his PSG debut
However, by the time millions of people around the world had finished rubbing their eyes, it was time to try and establish an idea as to how the legendary forward could fit in under Mauricio Pochettino.
For context, Messi was introduced in place of his former Barcelona teammate Neymar on 66 minutes with two goals from Kylian Mbappe having already secured the final score of 2-0.
Nevertheless, it gave Messi ample time to make an impression on his latest set of supporters and he managed to make a nuisance of himself as PSG closed out the win at Stade Auguste Delaune.
Saul Niguez to Chelsea! (Football Terrace)
Messi’s performance vs Reims
According to SofaScore, Messi completed 20 of his 21 passes for a 95% success rate, won four out of five ground duels and was the most fouled player on the pitch despite only making a cameo.
Pretty decent, right? Well, it seems as though Messi’s first appearance didn’t impress everybody because some less than flattering videos have emerged on social media since the final whistle.
And one particular compilation shared by Twitter user @mexverh, which is attracting hundreds of retweets and ‘likes’, paints a particularly damning picture of Messi’s performance at Reims.
Cruel montage of Messi
Cruelly titled: “The goat struggling against farmers,” the 40-second montage sets about showing Messi’s lesser moments from the 2-0 win presumably to demonstrate that it was a sub-par display.
Married to some mocking music and a very particularly-chosen closing clip, the video certainly makes for ruthless viewing and you can draw your own conclusions from it down below:
Wowsers. No holds barred.
GIVEMESPORT’s Kobe Tong says
Look, at the end of the day, Messi is only coming back to match fitness and had merely 24 minutes to make an impact on the world while playing in a team that he simply isn’t used to.
Lest we forget that we’re talking about a player who has never switched club teams in his career, so it’s only natural that he’ll take time adjusting to his new surroundings after so long in Catalonia.
And if anything, many of the clips serve to demonstrate why Messi – per ESPN – was indeed the most fouled player on the pitch, which goes to show just how many problems he caused the hosts.
That being said, it was by no means the sort of effortless performance that we’ve come to expect from Messi regardless of whether he’s in the starting XI or coming on for the final 10 minutes.
But when the standard by which we’re comparing him might well be the highest level of football in the history of the sport, perhaps it’s only natural that he’ll slightly underwhelm from time to time.