Lionel Messi travels back to Barcelona after stunning stoppage-time free-kick sees Christophe Galtier grant PSG squad two days off

Comments (0)
Lionel Messi PSG Lille 2022-23
Lionel Messi’s stunning stoppage-time free-kick against Lille has earned the PSG squad two days off, allowing the Argentine to head for Barcelona.
  • Argentine secured 4-3 victory over Lille
  • Netted the most dramatic of winners
  • Back in Spain for first time since World Cup

WHAT HAPPENED? The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner took in a relatively quiet Sunday afternoon at Parc des Princes until being asked to deliver a moment of match-altering brilliance in the dying seconds. Messi has always been a man for the big occasion and curled a dramatic 95th-minute effort in off the post to secure PSG a thrilling 4-3 victory over Lille and a well-earned break that has been granted by relieved coach Christophe Galtier.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi has, with training in the French capital not due to resume until Wednesday, taken the opportunity to head back to his spiritual home in Barcelona after being given a couple of days off – with this the first time that the mercurial 35-year-old has been on Spanish soil since he helped Argentina to World Cup glory at Qatar 2022.

WHAT NEXT? Messi delivered for PSG in a meeting with Lille that also saw Kylian Mbappe bag a brace and Neymar pick up an unfortunate injury that led to him leaving the field on a stretcher, with the reigning Ligue 1 champions due to be back in action next Sunday when taking in a trip to old adversaries Marseille.