Kylian Mbappé took the headlines after PSG beat Real Madrid 1-0 in Paris, but Leo Messi has plenty of experience of getting the better of Barça’s arch-enemy.
Leo Messi has played against Real Madrid a few times, but on his first appearance against his old foe representing his new club, PSG, it wasn’t the Argentina captain who was decisive, as he had been so many times for Barcelona.
Still, the Parisians’ collective objective was achieved – a 1-0 victory that leaves the Champions League tie finely balanced ahead of the second leg at the Bernabéu – with Kylian Mbappé providing a stoppage time winner.
Messi’s personal record against Real Madrid stands at 46 games, 20 wins, 11 draws and 15 defeats. Over the course of those fixtures, he has scored 26 goals and provided 14 assists.
In a couple of weeks, on 9 March, he will have another chance to inflict fresh misery on Los Blancos on their home turf, the scene of so many Messi moments over the years.
Messi: “The best team does not always win”
Speaking to PSG Magazine, Messi spoke about the upcoming match and the difficulty of beating any side in European competition.”
“It’s not easy to win the Champions League because it’s a competition that brings together the best teams and where the smallest detail, the smallest error, can get you knocked out.
“I think we have a team that can try and win it. We’re excited by that idea and we are confident that we’ll get there, but we have to take it step by step. Again, it’s hard to win the Champions League. The best team does not always win.”
The Argentina captain also talked about the importance of playing as a team: “The best teams have to be good in every area of the pitch, in all their lines of defence and in attack as well. I think it what a team’s ability to play as a team depends on.
“The forwards can’t limit themselves only to attacking and the defenders have to do more than just defend. You have to form a strong and united team as much in the defensive phase as in the attacking phase.
“That’s the blueprint that will allow us to be a truly competitive team, a team that will try and win the Champions League and every other tournament we’re in with a chance of winning.”