Lionel Messi: PSG star applauded by Clermont fans as highlights emerge

Lionel Messi in action for PSG vs Clermont

A Lionel Messi-inspired Paris Saint-Germain demolished Clermont Foot in their Ligue 1 opener on Saturday evening.

Christophe Galtier’s side were without Kylian Mbappe for their game at the Gabriel Montpied Stadium.

But his absence was not felt as PSG romped to a 5-0 victory.

Messi was brilliant throughout. He set up Neymar’s opener after nine minutes with a flick that fans have been debating whether was intentional or not.

Goals from Achraf Hakimi and Marquinhos gave the away side a comfortable 3-0 lead at half-time.

Messi then put gloss on the result with a late brace.

His first, scored in the 80th minute, was a tap-in after being unselfishly set up by Neymar.

Lionel Messi in action for PSG vs Clermont
Soccer Football – Ligue 1 – Clermont v Paris St Germain – Stade Gabriel Montpied, Clermont-Ferrand, France – August 6, 2022 Paris St Germain’s Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their fourth goal REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

He notched his second six minutes later with a magnificent bicycle kick, which will go down as one of the, if not the best goal he has scored for PSG.

After scoring his second goal, Clermont Foot fans showed their appreciation as chants of ‘Messi, Messi!’ rung around the stadium.

His highlights from the match have now emerged and they show why Messi was given an applause by the Clermont fans.

View them below…

You know you’ve put in a special performance when even opposition fans are chanting your name.

Galtier was full of praise for the 35-year-old magician after the game.

“He had a bit of a difficult season last season, he had to fit in,” Galtier told reporters, per Stadium Astro.

“There was a radical change but in every season before that he has at least 30 goals.

“He went through a complete pre-season. When he has his bearing both in terms of his family life but also in terms of his club, the team and his fellow players, there is no reason why Leo should not have a great season.”

Soccer Football – Ligue 1 – Clermont v Paris St Germain – Stade Gabriel Montpied, Clermont-Ferrand, France – August 6, 2022 Paris St Germain’s Lionel Messi scores their fifth goal REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

He added: “I spoke with Leo during our time in Japan and I also talked with my attacking players to make sure that he could perform well all the time.

“Leo has a very sharp tactical sense, very clear. He has vision. He quickly sees where he has to go.

“The way he defends, the way he positions himself to play with others. He can get into the zone. He likes to play with the players he has around him.

“From there, when Leo smiles obviously, the team smiles too.”

It’s great to see Messi back to his very best.

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Lionel Messi in action for PSG

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