Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) are preparing to face Brest at the Parc des Princes on Saturday in Ligue 1. Christophe Galtier’s men sit atop the league after six games.
Meanwhile, former Real Zaragoza midfielder Leonardo Ponzio has recalled defending against a young Lionel Messi. Elsewhere, Mauro Icardi has joined Gatatasaray on loan.
On that note, here’s a look at the key PSG news stories on September 8, 2022:
Leonardo Ponzio recalls defending against Lionel Messi
Leonardo Ponzio has said that defending against Lionel Messi is a nightmare. The former midfielder went up against the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner during their time together in La Liga. Ponzio battled his countryman during his younger years at Barcelona, and needless to say, found little joy.
LMessi moved to PSG last summer and has enjoyed a resurgent start to the new campaign. Speaking on TyC Sport, as relayed by PSG Talk, Ponzio recalled trying in vain to mark the diminutive magician.
“How is it to mark Messi? I caught him in a stage where he had speed, which was nothing; there was no chance. I know from that year I played a whole year as a winger in (Real) Zaragoza, and he played on the outside and nothing, there were no chances; there were none,” said Ponzio.
“Because nothing, because if it wasn’t him, he would get together with another, and he had everything; he has everything, and in that time, he had zero to 100 speed.”
Messi has scored four times and registered six assists in seven games across competitions this season.
Mauro Icardi leaves PSG to join Galatasaray on loan
Mauro Icardi has joined Galatasaray on loan, the Turkish club have confirmed. The Argentinean striker dropped down the pecking order at the Parisians and was put up for sale.
Icardi was also eager to leave the club to play regular football. Galatasaray have taken advantage of the situation to sign the player on a temporary deal.
The Turkish club were locked in talks with PSG recently to complete a deal and have finally secured their man. Icardi will join the club on a one-year loan deal.
Juninho opens up on Kylian Mbappe and Neymar conflict
Former Lyon sporting director Juninho believes Kylian Mbappe and Neymar do not need to be friends to be effective on the pitch. The two players have displayed friction on the pitch recently.
Neymar set the Frenchman up for the opening goal in the midweek win over Juventus. However, when it was Mbappe’s turn to return the favour later in the game, the 23-year-old chose to go for glory himself.
The incident added fuel to the fire of speculation, with news outlets focusing on their strained relationship once again. However, speaking on Rothen s’enflamme, as relayed by PSG Talk, Juninho said that the two players need to take responsibility on the pitch.
“They don’t have to be friends. It’s true that it gives the impression on certain actions that they do not see each other or pretend. The most important thing is that they are responsible. That means training by giving everything,” said Juninho.
“And from the moment you’re on the pitch, that’s the most important thing. You have to respect the supporters, the jersey worn. If the coach and the leaders are able to manage that and make it understood to the players, I don’t think they will have any problems on the pitch.”
Mbappe has nine goals from six games this season, while Neymar has found the back of the net nine times in eight appearances across competitions.