Lionel Messi's highlights from PSG 2-1 Lille show he should never have started the game

Lionel Messi was substituted at half-time vs Lille

Most football fans believed Lionel Messi would tear up Ligue 1 in a Paris Saint-Germain shirt.

The Argentine superstar was signed from Barcelona on a free transfer in the summer, but he's found the going rather tough in the French capital.

Despite operating alongside the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Angel Di Maria, Messi is yet to find the back of the net in league action with PSG.

He made his fifth Ligue 1 appearance on Friday evening versus Lille and was substituted at half-time due to fitness issues.

PSG went on to win the game 2-1 thanks to second half goals from Marquinhos and Di Maria.

Mauricio Pochettino's side were a totally different animal after the interval and much of that is down to the fact that Messi was virtually a passenger in the opening period of the game.

Messi in action vs Lille

French publication L'Equipe handed him a brutal rating of 3/10 for his performance as a 'false nine' and frankly, that's them being rather kind.

Messi was evidently nowhere close to full match fitness and as such, he looked like a distinctly average footballer rather than the all-time great we all know he is.

His individual highlights from the match have emerged on YouTube and it's hard to believe that the man who's the focus of the footage is arguably the greatest footballer in history.

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Video: Messi's awful highlights from PSG 2-1 Lille

When was the last time Messi dropped a performance that bad for club or country? Aside from completing a few simple passes, he just looked lost at the Parc des Princes on Friday night.

Even the Argentine's horrendous display in the Copa America final versus Brazil was ten times better than his showing against Lille in Paris.

It's now abundantly clear that PSG and Pochettino cannot afford to take any more gambles on Messi's fitness as the 2021/22 season progresses.

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The club will be desperate for him to feature away at RB Leipzig in the Champions League next Wednesday, but it may be a far better move to give him the rest he so obviously requires.

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