Paris Saint-Germain is coming off a 3-1 victory over Maccabi Haifa on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League at the Sammy Ofer Stadium. After struggling, the capital club’s front three of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé, and Neymar Jr.
Messi would score the equalizer after the French giants conceded the first goal and were on their heels to start the game. Nonetheless, Mbappé secured the lead and Neymar added the security goal.
Despite the trio making an appearance on the goal sheet for PSG, CBS Sports pundit Guillem Balagué revealed why Messi isn’t the same player even with his start to the season.
“He’s not the same player,” Balagué said. “And one thing is very clear, he’s not the captain, he’s not the leader. So he has a lesser influence in the side that is from a psychological and leadership point of view, which means that he how can I put it? Switches off a lot.
“And for him, the thing is when he switches on to actually make an impact, and he has done that, the past will pay for the second goal. Oh my God. So you put the highlights of Messi and you say Messi looks great, you put the 90 minutes and you think he’s choosing his moments.
Furthermore, Balagué believes that the Ligue 1 side doesn’t convince him as Champions League contenders.
“Well, when you got a very active Neymar and when you’ve got Mbappé, actions will happen upfront,” Balagué added. “It’s just that these three still don’t defend. And you cannot win things with three players not defending; I don’t think.”
PSG have revamped their midfield which was once a source of weakness. However, the backline is shaky after failing to add more depth and relying on Marquinhos, Presnel Kimpembe, and Sergio Ramos for a three-center-back system.
Sporting advisor Luis Campos does have the January window to make any additions to improve the backline and cover the lack of defending from their trio, but for now, this is their squad that’s likely to get through the group stage.