The newly signed Paris Saint Germain and Argentinian Lionel Messi will make his Paris Saint-Germain debut today Sunday 29 August, when the Ligue 1 giants travel to face Reims at Stade Auguste-Delaune.
After so much wait from fans and football world altogether this is set to be a historic occasion as it will be the first time that Messi has worn a club shirt other than Barcelona‘s for a professional match.
There has been a clamour for tickets to see this new-look PSG team, which is likely to contain Neymar and potentially even Kylian Mbappe, despite uncertainty over his future at Parc Des Princess.
All eyes, though, will be on the six-time Ballon d’Or winner come kick off.
Messi, meanwhile, has had a mixed bag in his debuts previously.
Messi’s Barcelona debut
Lionel Messi’s debut for Barcelona arrived against Jose Mourinho’s Porto side in an exhibition match to mark the opening of the Estadio do Dragao.
Messi was playing with the youth team when he received the call to play for the senior team for the first time.
November 16, 2003 is a memorable day and time for both Argetinian superstar and Barcelona family. This is a date to remember, as one of the most important historical milestones in Barça history. That day a young Argentine footballer, Leo Messi, just 16 years old, made his debut for Barça’s first team in a friendly against Porto. Now,having left to PSG after more than two decades, Messi has become the best footballer in the history of the game, re-writing Barça’s history along the way.
In that match, Messi made his debut under Frank Rijkaard at the Do Dragao Stadium in a match which the Catalans lost 2-0. The Argentine wore No.14, and came on in the 71st minute of the match, replacing Fernando Navarro.
“Nov. 16, 2003 is a very important date for me,” he told Barca TV. “Because that’s when I was able to make my childhood dream come true – it was a very happy day for me. I’d fought hard to make that moment happen and it was really special.”
Messi came on as a substitute in the closing stages of the game and turned in a promising but not flawless debut. In his brief appearance, he had two chances to score but made the wrong decision in trying to pass after robbing the opposing goalkeeper, then could not quite get hold of a shot as he slid in behind the Porto defence to reach a through pass.
“I remember after the game coach Frank Rijkaard came up to me and said: ‘You missed a good chance,’” he admitted.
Messi’s La Liga debut
Messi’s competitive debut for Barcelona did not come until 16 October, 2004, when he was a substitute against Espanyol.
Replacing Deco in the 82nd minute of the match. At the age of 17 years and three months, Messi became the youngest player to represent Barcelona in an official competition.
Although Messi had played for the Barcelona senior team a year before against FC Porto, it was a friendly tie between the two clubs and not an official game.
Messi’s infamous Argentina debut
Having selected to play with Argentina instead of Spain, Messi was a hit on his debut with the Under-20 side. Indeed, in a friendly against Paraguay, he excelled by scoring one and gaining two more assists in an 8-0 win.
Messi’s full Argentina debut did not go nearly so well. Brought off the bench on 17 August, 2004 – before he had even played for Barcelona – he was a replacement in a friendly against Hungary. He was introduced shortly after the hour mark but lasted just two minutes of the game before being sent off.
Hungary player Vilmos Vanczak grabbed his shirt as Messi ran away from him, and in shaking his rival off, Messi caught him with an arm. Though the action was accidental and not especially serious, the referee sent him off.
Messi was found after the match sobbing in the dressing room.