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Lionel Messi has made PSG better, but also worse | Philippe Auclair

French football writer Philippe Auclair joined The Football Show to talk about Lionel Messi and ...

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

17:33 21 Sep 2021



Lionel Messi has made PSG bett...
Soccer

Lionel Messi has made PSG better, but also worse | Philippe Auclair

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

17:33 21 Sep 2021

French football writer Philippe Auclair joined The Football Show to talk about Lionel Messi and PSG.

PSG scraped past Lyon 2-1 at the weekend after drawing 1-1 with Club Brugge last week.

The on-field struggles have been notable for the Parisians despite their league results going in their favour. But more important than that was Lionel Messi's departure from the field. Messi was substituted by Mauricio Pochettino when chasing a goal.

For Messi, it was a complete departure from his whole career. He's been the guy to score or set up a goal when his team desperately needs it.

Now that he's away from Barcelona and playing with two other superstar attackers, the dynamic is somewhat different but still notable. Pochettino raised major questions marks about how his team is going to function moving forward.

He opened up the question of Messi's value for this specific team.

Off The Ball's Joe Molloy asked Auclair "Does Lionel Messi make PSG more vulnerable or a better side than last year?"

"Both," Auclair answered to somewhat sit on the fence while not dismissing the idea that Messi is not really a fit with the talent that PSG boast.

"That's the problem. Of course, they are better because you have got a man who is one of, if not the greatest player of all time who is far from finished. And with a stroke of genius, he can change a game. And so can Neymar and so can Mbappe.

But he makes them worse because there is simply no balance."

Balance is something you don't necessarily need in the French league against the weaker sides, but Auclair points to recent history as reasons why a lack of balance could ultimately cost PSG in the Champions League.

"Look at the teams that have won the Champions League in recent history. Chelsea, Bayern, yes they've got some very fine players and some great players in fact but this is not the reason why they've won, this is not the reason why they've been so dominant.

It is a PSG problem. It's a problem you have with teams of Galacticos, it's the problem that Real Madrid had in the 2005-6 season when they had everybody. They had Ronaldo, the other one, they had Beckham, they had Guti, they had Raul, they had absolutely everybody who was anybody and they were beaten 1-0 by Arsenal.

When Zidane did it and he had Gareth Bale and Benzema, he managed to find some kind of balance there. But he was Zinedine Zidane. You can do that if you're Zinedine Zidane. Pochettino is not Zinedine Zidane.”

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