Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino has revealed he did not have any concerns about Lionel Messi’s Ligue 1 goal drought prior to the forward opening his account in the competition against Nantes.
Messi had made five league appearances for the capital club without scoring before netting the third goal in the 3-1 victory at the Parc des Princes on Saturday with his 20th shot in Ligue 1.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored in the Champions League for PSG, however, netting three times in three games so far.
Pochettino explained that neither he nor Messi had any doubt that the goals would start to flow domestically, too, and also made a point of praising the team as a whole.
“I don’t think Messi was worried about not having scored in the championship, he’s a great champion, the best player in the world,” Pochettino said after the game.
“He knows how to go through the most difficult times, he has patience, and it’s good that he scored.
“We showed our character, but also showed the quality of the team – we played a very good first half.
“The progress of the MNM [Messi, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe]? I always said it was about making connections, spending time together, and also playing competitive matches.
“But it was the whole team that played a good game, as a whole, to allow these talented players to often find themselves in a position to create chances. Too bad we didn’t score more goals in the first half.”
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) November 20, 2021
Messi expressed his delight at opening his Ligue 1 account, finding the back of the net with a sweet strike from outside the box after receiving the ball from Mbappe.
“I am happy with this first goal, I really wanted it,” Messi said to Amazon Prime. “I had several chances before in this match and in previous matches.
“I am very happy with this first goal in the championship, I had already scored in the Champions League. There had been chances, but I had not converted, so I am very happy.”