Paris SG finds its Mbappé-Messi duo in Rennes

Paris SG finds its Mbappé-Messi duo in Rennes

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Paris (AFP) – Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi will meet on the same pitch in competition for the first time since the World Cup final, during the poster for the 19th day of Ligue 1 on Sunday (8:45 p.m.) between Rennes and Paris SG.

How we meet again… After a staggered recovery, the two stars return, this time in the same camp.

Almost a month after their duel of titans in Lusail, with a hat-trick from the Frenchman and a double from the Argentinian, who won the trophy (3-3, 4 tabs to 2), they should reform the “MNM” Messi, Neymar , Mbappe.

If “Kyky de Bondy” had already resumed immediately after his failure in the world final, which he is not about to “digest”, by his own admission, “Leo de Rosario” celebrated his title of world champion for a long time, finally conquered on his fifth attempt.

Mbappé had taken his vacation later, shifted with Messi, after, as soon as he returned, having offered victory to PSG against Strasbourg (2-1). He then cut ten days, like his friend Achraf Hakimi, fourth in the World Cup with Morocco. The two notably went to the United States where they attended an NBA game.

“Reunion”

The “Pulga” found the Parisian jersey last Wednesday against Angers (2-0) and offered victory in its colors with a classy pass and a goal.

(From left to right) PSG stars Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Achraf Hakimi and Kylian Mbappé, in training, January 14, 2023 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye © Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP

Mbappé “is ready to play, he has recovered well, like Achraf (Hakimi, the Moroccan side), they are available”, assures Christophe Galtier.

The coach has “not exchanged with” the Parisian N.7 recently to find out where his digestion was. “But he does not seem marked by disappointment to me, he is good, available, smiling, he trains normally like a great professional”, he added.

The reunion of the MNM “went very well, Kylian was very well received, but there was no doubt, he was very well received in particular by + Ney + and by Leo”, still assures Galtier.

But there is still work to be done for these talents to find their complicity as well. “It’s been two months, since November 13 against Auxerre (5-0), that our workforce has been dispersed”, regrets the coach, “today we are starting to find collective sessions, unfortunately not even with the entire team. ‘workforce (Presnel Kimpembe and Marco Verratti are still recovering, editor’s note)”.

“Automatisms a little forgotten”

“The selection automatisms caused our automatisms to be somewhat forgotten,” notes Galtier. “We must rediscover the pleasure of playing while being connected, that there is more binding than what we have seen since the recovery after the World Cup”.

PSG coach Christophe Galtier greets Lionel Messi during his outing against Angers on January 11, 2023 at the Parc des Princes
PSG coach Christophe Galtier greets Lionel Messi during his outing against Angers on January 11, 2023 at the Parc des Princes © Bertrand GUAY / AFP/Archives

Fifteen days after the first defeat of the season in Lens (3-1), all competitions combined, Paris resumed its march forward and can turn to 50 points halfway through if it wins at Roazhon Park.

“We must find more intensity and reaction to the loss of the ball, I have spoken about it with certain players, above all we need a lot more technical accuracy”, asks Galtier. “In the last games played it was really insufficient compared to the level where we want to play”.

This time the opposition is tougher than the last of the championship. Stade Rennais have twice beaten PSG in their last three visits to Lorient in L1.

But the Bretons, fourth in the championship, have dropped a little since the post-World Cup recovery. After a series of 17 matches without defeats, they have just lost two out of three times. The last failure, at the last second in Clermont (2-1), showered the podium ambitions of Bruno Genesio’s team, now left behind by Olympique de Marseille.

Deprived of Martin Terrier until the end of the season, but also of Benjamin Bourigeaud and Warmed Omari excluded in Auvergne, the Rennais dream of an exploit against PSG and their 2022 and 2018 world champions to revive themselves. And the reunion between Messi and Mbappé would be upset.