Argentina and PSG forward Lionel Messi is ready to make his return from the sidelines today on Sunday after PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino confirmed the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will be in the squad.
The Argentina international hasn’t played for PSG since before Christmas in December 2021 after testing positive for Covid-19 while he was back home in Argentina during the recent winter break.
Messi was only able to return to Europe once he was testing negative and no longer an infection risk, but it meant he had to miss PSG wins over Lyon and Brest in Ligue 1 earlier this month after the winter break.
However, now back with the rest of the squad and having been able to train the whole of this week, Messi is in line to at least take a place on the bench for the visit of Reims on Sunday night, the manager has confirmed.
“He trained well during the week with the squad and I’m happy he’s back with us. He’ll be in the squad,” Pochettino explained as he faced the media ahead of the game.
Messi is yet to find his best form for PSG since moving from La Liga outfit Barcelona last summer. A lack of fitness at the start of the season followed by niggling injury troubles have limited his ability to perform and the man with 672 senior club goals to his name before this season has only scored once in 11 league games in France.
In a bid to let him build up his fitness, Messi has been omitted from Argentina’s squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Colombia next week as it is not a must-win for his country.
La Albiceleste have already secured their place in Qatar next winter but have still named a strong squad including Messi’s PSG teammates Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes, as well as Inter’s Lautaro Martinez, Juventus’ Paulo Dybala and Atletico Madrid’s Rodrigo de Paul and the likes of Aston Villa’s Buendia and goalkeeper Martinez.