Lionel Messi Responsible For $73M Star's Less Game Time At PSG: Report

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Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe at training last week, but will they ever actually play together for PSG?
Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe at training last week, but will they ever actually play together for PSG?

Lionel Messi is reportedly responsible for Gianluigi Donnarumma's less playtime at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), making the Italian goalkeeper very unhappy.

Donnarumma, who was the vital cog of the Italy national team in their Euros victory earlier this year, moved from AC Milan to PSG on a free transfer in the summer of 2021. Out of PSG’s nine competitive matches in the underway season, Donnarumma has featured in only two, playing second fiddle to Costa Rican Keylor Navas. Both his appearances have come in Ligue 1 and he is yet to make his Champions League debut.

Donnarumma has been kept out of PSG’s XI by a strong contingent of South American players, including Messi (Argentina), Angel di Maria (Argentina), Neymar (Brazil) and Marquinhos (Brazil), who favor their fellow South American and experienced shot-stopper Navas, reported Italian publication Corriere della Sera.

Meanwhile, as per Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, who has a credible record in European soccer, Donnarumma will start for PSG in their Champions League fixture against Manchester City in Paris on Tuesday.

"I dream of playing Champions League," Donnarumma said years ago in an interview, according to Romano.

"Gianluigi Donnarumma will start for Paris Saint-Germain tonight and make his official debut in the Champions League. He’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world and will finally play in the best competition," tweeted Romano.

There have also been rumors regarding Donnarumma’s PSG exit amid interest from Juventus, according to soccer outlet Football Italia. The 22-year-old Italian national’s market value is around $73 million, according to Transfermarkt.

After winning the league title for three consecutive seasons, starting with 2017-18, PSG failed to defend their Ligue 1 title last season as they finished second. However, under the new manager Mauricio Pochettino, PSG have once again begun to dominate the league. The Parc des Princes' side has won eight out of eight fixtures, with the latest victory being the 2-0 win over Montpellier.

Following the win over Montpellier, which featured Navas as the goalkeeper, Pochettino was asked about his two talented shot-stoppers. The Argentinian boss replied that he has not designated either of his goalkeepers as his No. 1 as yet.


Gianluigi Donnarumma and Italy held on for a 2-1 win over Belgium in the quarter-finals
Gianluigi Donnarumma and Italy held on for a 2-1 win over Belgium in the quarter-finals
Photo: POOL / Christof STACHE

"We had a very good game today. We were a strong team. I am very satisfied with the performance of the boys. We had different moments in the game but we did not. never suffered. The dualism between goalkeepers? I have always said and I repeat it. Before each match I decide whether Navas and Donnarumma will play," Pochettino said in a post-match interview on Saturday.

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