At long last, Lionel Messi is a World Cup champion.
The man considered by many to be the greatest player of all time now looks to refocus his efforts on bringing PSG their first Champions League title, returning to the French club with renewed vigor.
Now that the World Cup break is over, PSG are hoping to push forward towards a Ligue 1 title and European glory. Messi figures to be a key part of that push, as he teams up with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to see the French giants reach new heights.
The Sporting News brings you a full overview of Messi’s European exploits to come over the remainder of the 2022/23 campaign, as well as his future with the Argentina national team now that he’s brought the nation a third World Cup title.
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When is next PSG match?
Lionel Messi’s club Paris Saint-Germain returned to Ligue 1 play on December 28, a week after the World Cup final, at home to Strasbourg. Messi was not involved in that game, but he posted a picture on Instagram to show he was watching the action on TV. It proved to be an eventful game, with Mbappe scoring an injury-time penalty to seal a 2-1 win after Neymar had earlier been sent off following a second yellow card for diving.
🎯 The winning goal by @KMbappe! #PSGRCSA pic.twitter.com/1kPgpGxCJF
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) December 30, 2022
They have a quick turnaround for their next match, with a New Year’s Day game on the road against second-place Lens. It is anticipated that Messi will not be involved in that, either, which makes his first game back for PSG likely to be either in the Coupe de France at Chateauroux on January 6, or the league meeting at home to Angers on January 11.
PSG went into the World Cup break leading the French top flight table by five points over Lens, and that gap was extended to seven points following a 0-0 draw for Franck Haise’s side away to Nice.
PSG fixtures, matches
|Sun, Jan. 1||Ligue 1||@ Lens|
|Fri, Jan. 6||Coupe de France||@ Chateauroux|
|Wed, Jan. 11||Ligue 1||vs. Angers|
|Sun, Jan. 15||Ligue 1||@ Stade Rennes|
|Sun, Jan. 29||Ligue 1||vs. Reims|
When will Lionel Messi play next?
Messi played every single one of the 690 minutes for Argentina at the FIFA World Cup and has been afforded something of a break before returning to the field with PSG. Having gone deep into the tournament, playing in the final alongside his club teammate Mbappe, Messi was likely in need of some rest to keep his body from breaking down.
Players with major international minutes often earn themselves an extended break after summer tournaments, sometimes even taking the first few games of the season off as they ramp back up to full fitness. While this situation isn’t quite the same without a preseason to navigate, he still could be given time on the sidelines to recover from the grind of the World Cup.
Messi is now 35 years old, and while he has enjoyed a mostly clean bill of health on the whole of his career, PSG may wish to be cautious with him knowing his availability will be critical to any deep Champions League push.
Given PSG’s schedule, they will hope that Messi is back for the critical game against second-place Lens on New Years Day, but if not, they could hope he returns for the January 15 game against third-place Rennes. PSG have a two-week break in the latter half of January and could even wait to bring Messi back until after that to give him a full rest.
How to watch Ligue 1 and Lionel Messi’s PSG matches
- In the UK: Subscribers can watch Ligue 1 through BT Sports, either via TV channels, online or through the BT Sports app.
- In the USA: beIN Sports and beIN Sports Espanol have exclusive rights to Ligue 1. Matches are streamable on BeIN Sports Connect. It is also available via FuboTV, which offers a free trial to new users.
- In Canada: beIN Sports has exclusive rights to Ligue 1, and it’s streamable on BeIN Sports Connect. It is also available via FuboTV, which offers a free trial to new users.
- In Australia: Viewers can watch via beIN Sports or stream matches through Kayo Sports.
When is next Argentina match
Argentina has not released a 2023 match schedule as of now.
There was speculation that Lionel Messi would retire after winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but for now, Messi says he will continue to play for his country.
“I’m not retiring from the national team,” Messi said after the final. “I want to continue playing as a champion.”
Yet that retirement could come soon, as Messi confirmed that 2022 would be his final World Cup, and Argentina would need to craft a path forward without him in time to be prepared for 2026.
“It’s my last World Cup,” Messi said after the semifinal win over Croatia. “It is impressive to end up playing a final. There’s a long way to go for the next one, there are many years and surely because of age I won’t get to it.”
Lionel Messi stats 2022/23
After a difficult first season at PSG, Lionel Messi is having a revival for both club and country.
“The Flea” has won the World Cup with Argentina, and is also have a stellar season with PSG in Ligue 1 and Champions League action.
Statistics below updated as of Friday, December 30:
Lionel Messi stats for PSG
|UEFA Champions League||5||4||4||435|
|Coupe de France||—||—||—||—|
|Trophee des Champions||1||1||0||90|
Lionel Messi stats for Argentina
|FIFA World Cup||7||7||3||690|
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