Is Lionel Messi playing for PSG against Ajaccio?
Football fans around the world are eagerly anticipating the return of Lionel Messi to the pitch with PSG after his suspension for an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia. And according to the very own Christophe Galtier, speaking about it on Friday, the Argentine world champion should be on the Parisian XI facing Ajaccio later today.
L'Equipe reported in Saturday's printed edition of the newspaper that there is a sense of gloom in Paris due to PSG's recent struggles, and the match against Ajaccio may not be the simple formality that many had hoped for.
PSG has seen their margin shrink against their national competitors, and coach Christophe Galtier is acutely aware that he will not be continuing with the team beyond the match against Clermont that will put an ending to the season next Juen. However, Galtier remains focused on staying the course and keeping PSG on track.
For PSG fans, the return of Messi to the team is a much-needed boost. Although he has not had the second half of the season that many had hoped for, he still represents a chance for the team to shine. There were fears that Messi may never return to Ligue 1 play, but discussions between the player and the club have allowed him to make his comeback as soon as this weekend.
PSG will face Ajaccio, Auxerre, Strasbourg, and finally, Clermont to finish the season. Even though it may be difficult to predict how the Parisian public will receive Messi, he will undoubtedly be eager to show his best performance on the pitch and ahead of his move away from Paris next summer.
Le Parisien also discussed the return of Messi, noting that his situation has been addressed by PSG and that coach Galtier, in fact, put an end to the suspense by confirming that Messi will start against Ajaccio in his pre-game press conference.
The match is sure to have a unique atmosphere due to the absence of the Collectif Ultras Paris after the Ultras of PSG decided to stop publicly rooting for the team at the Parc des Princes.
Messi will still want to rally PSG's supporters to support his cause, though, even more knowing that his main enemies in the stands (the CUP) won't be there on Saturday. He knows that this may be one of his last matches at the Parc des Princes, and he will be eager to make it count.
All things considered, Messi's return is a significant moment for PSG and for football fans everywhere, and most probably his second-to-last chance of playing football inside the Parc des Princes while donning the home-team threads.