Paris SG finds the Mbappé-Messi duo in Rennes

Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi will meet on the same pitch in competition for the first time since the World Cup final, during the Ligue 1 matchday 19 poster on Sunday 15 January 2023 (20:45) between Rennes and Paris SG.

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How do we meet again… After a staggered recovery, the two stars are back, this time in the same field.

Almost a month after their duel between the titans in Lusail, with a hat-trick by the Frenchman and a brace by the Argentine, winner of the trophy (3-3, 4 boards to 2), they should reform the “MNM” Messi, Neymar, Mbappé.

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

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


The “Pulga” rediscovered the Parisian shirt last Wednesday against Angers (2-0) and gave away the victory with his colors with a class upgrade and a goal.

Mbappé “is ready to play, he has recovered well, like Achraf (Hakimi, Moroccan team), I am available”, assures Christophe Galtier.

The technician has “not traded” recently with the Parisian number 7 to know where his digestion was. “But he doesn’t seem marked by disappointments, he’s good, available, smiling, he normally trains like a great professional”.

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

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

“A bit forgotten automatisms”

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

Fifteen days after their first defeat of the season in Lens (3-1), all competitions combined, Paris have resumed their march forward and can reach 50 points at halftime if they win at Roazhon Park.

“We need to find more intensity and reaction to losing the ball, I talked about it with some players, above all we need a lot more technical precision”, asks Galtier. “In the last few games he’s played, he’s been really insufficient compared to the level we want to play at.”

This time the opposition is fiercer than last season. Stade Rennais have beaten PSG twice in their last three away games against Lorient in L1.

But the Bretons, fourth in the league, are down a bit since the post-World Cup recovery. After a 17-game unbeaten streak, he just lost two out of three.

The latest failure, at the last second in Clermont (2-1), flooded the podium ambitions of Bruno Genesio’s team, now detached from Olympique de Marseille.

Without 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 recover. And the reunion between Messi and Mbappé would be distorted.

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Football World Cup Football World Cup Paris Rennes (Ille-et-Vilaine) Lionel Messi

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