Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Paris St Germain v RC Strasbourg - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - August 14, 2021 Paris St Germain's Lionel Messi acknowledges the fans inside the stadium before the match REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier
Paris St Germain presented Lionel Messi to fans inside the Parc des Princes stadium ahead of their Ligue 1 clash with Strasbourg on Saturday, but the Argentine was not included in the squad for the match.
Messi took to the field pre-match along with fellow new recruits Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi and Georginio Wijnaldum, and spoke to the raucous crowd.
"It has been a very special week for me," he said. "I want to thank everyone for the reception since I arrived in Paris. It has been truly incredible. I feel very happy and excited.
"I hope together we can enjoy this year and make it a great year for us. I am very excited about everything."
As expected, Messi was not named in the match squad after coach Mauricio Pochettino said this week that the 34-year-old is not yet fully fit.
Italy goalkeeper Donnarumma and veteran defender Ramos were also not included. Hakimi and Wijnaldum were selected to start.
Messi joined PSG this week on a two-year contract with the option of extending it by another year after Barcelona said they could not afford to keep him because of LaLiga's financial fair play rules.
Reporting by Peter Hall, editing by Pritha Sarkar