The bombshell news of Lionel Messi’s potential arrival in Ligue 1 has, shockingly, been the main talking point in France this weekend as the new season got underway.
Manager reaction from around the league has been varied. Michel der Zakarian of Brest, colourfully explained that:
“We say that we have a s**t league, but if we manage to bring in a player like that it would be exceptional. I’m not going to be polite here, but he gives me a hard-on.”
While Metz coach Frédéric Antonetti took the opposite position, saying:
“As the football purist that I am, Messi has to be finishing his career at Barcelona. Messi is Barcelona. But that was before.”
Nice manager Christophe Galtier meanwhile joked:
“I think he will be in France, but I’m not sure he will go to PSG. I spoke to the club owner about the subject… Virginie, the communications manager, told me not to say anything…”
As reported by RMC, Marseille’s Jorge Sampaoli, however, revealed he was delighted at the prospect of his countryman arriving in the French top flight.
“Messi at PSG? It would be great for Ligue 1. We are talking about the best player in the world who would play in France,” Sampaoli stated. “French football has grown a lot lately,” the 61-year-old continued, “This arrival will do a lot of good. The whole world will have their eyes on Ligue 1. I hope that everything will go well with Messi, that he will be happy here and that he will have fun in this competitive, difficult and special championship.”