Lionel Messi even had the commentator laughing during Paris Saint-Germain’s pre-season friendly against Urawa Reds on Saturday.
The legendary Argentine forward started the match on the bench before entering the fray with 30 minutes left to play and wowed the crowd inside the Saitama Stadium with a few trademark moments of magic.
PSG were already 2-0 up when Messi was subbed on, thanks to first-half goals from Pablo Sarabia and Kylian Mbappe.
Messi came close to getting himself on the scoresheet but it was young forward Arnaud Kalimuendo who netted PSG’s third and final goal of the match.
Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, who celebrated his 35th birthday last month, was lively throughout his 30-minute cameo.
He created a couple of goalscoring opportunities, forced a save from goalkeeper Ayumi Niekawa and also worked hard to win the ball back for his team on at least one occasion.
Messi also showed no mercy to one Urawa Reds player who attempted to dispossess the man regarded by many football fans as the GOAT.
With a few lightning-quick touches and a couple of feints, Messi left the poor guy on the deck contemplating his life choices.
Watch the clip here:
— PSG Chief (@psg_chief) July 23, 2022
— ميسي | Golden (@Gold10_Messi) July 23, 2022
The commentator couldn’t help but chuckle.
Even at 35, Messi is still out there humiliating players much younger than him. You love to see it.
You can watch Messi’s highlights from the game in full here:
Lionel Messi performance today vs Urawa Reds – Friendly 2022pic.twitter.com/mFJcX5DACI
— Sam© (@Fcb_s_a_m) July 23, 2022
Will Messi enjoy a better second season at PSG?
Messi scored 11 goals in 34 games during his debut season at PSG following his shock departure from Barcelona.
Those numbers, by his ridiculously high standards, were extremely disappointing.
Most expected that’d he tear up Ligue 1, and possibly the Champions League too, alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
While he managed to win the league in his first season in Paris, crashing out of the Champions League to Real Madrid in the Round of 16 was a huge disappointment for the club.
It eventually led to the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino, who was replaced as manager by former Nice boss Christophe Galtier earlier this month.
Messi’s focus is on trying to win the World Cup with Argentina this winter, but he’ll also be determined to inspire PSG to silverware this term.