Lionel Messi Scores His First Of Preseason With A Right-Footed Effort

The first match of PSG's preseason tour of Japan ended in victory for Christophe Galtier's side with Lionel Messi and 20-year-old Arnaud Kalimuendo (a Leeds and Everton transfer target) on the scoresheet in a 2-1 victory over Kawasaki Frontale at the National Stadium in Tokyo. 

The starting backline looks like Galtier's preferred option for the new campaign with Gianluigi Donnarumma in goal, a back-three of Marquinhos, Presnel Kimpembe and Sergio Ramos and Nuno Mendes and Achraf Hakimi operating as wing backs. In the middle, Vitinha (a $42 million signing from Porto) was paired with Idrissa Gueye. Kylian Mbappé went wide left, Neymar through the middle and Messi out on the right.

Thirty-two minutes in, Messi got his first of preseason with a right-footed effort that needed a deflection to beat the keeper. 

PSG's second in the 58th minute was beautifully constructed with Messi again heavily involved. It ended with Juan Bernat picking out Kalimuendo for the finish. 

Kawasaki pulled one back in the 84th with Tatsuki Seko providing the cross and defender Kazuya Yamamura the headed finish.

PSG plays Urawa Reds on Saturday (July 23) at Saitama Stadium before finishing its tour against Gamba Osaka on Monday (July 25) at Suita City Stadium. PSG's season gets started in earnest against 2021 Coupe de France winner FC Nantes in the Trophée des Champions on Sunday, July 31, at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv.

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