Man City squad have Lionel Messi hope for Champions League game with Paris Saint-Germain

Man City squad have Lionel Messi hope for Champions League game with Paris Saint-Germain


Ruben Dias is hoping to be able to test himself against Lionel Messi this week when Manchester City return to France in the Champions League.

Pep Guardiola’s side beat Paris Saint-Germain over two legs last season in the semi-final of the competition to make their first ever final, where they lost to Saturday’s opponents Chelsea.

The French heavyweights have significantly strengthened over the summer, including the arrival of Lionel Messi on a free transfer after Barcelona’s dire financial situation left them unable to afford his wages. However, the multiple Ballon D’Or winner has questions over his fitness going into the game after he came off in their win over Lyon last weekend with an injury to his left knee.

City’s squad are excited to be going up against a host of superstars when they play PSG on Wednesday, and centre-back Dias would like Messi to be fit enough to be included in their team.

“I think you want to test yourself against the best players. Messi is a phenomenal player and as a professional, you want to play against all those sorts of names,” he said.

“But whether it’s Messi, Mbappe, Neymar, Icardi, PSG have amazing strength in depth and no matter who it is we face it’ll be a tough test. Everyone is looking forward to this game for exactly that reason.”

As well as Messi, PSG brought in Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Gini Wijnaldum on free transfers in the summer transfer window as well as signing right-back Achraf Hakimi, defensive midfielder Danilo Pereira, and bringing in left-back Nuno Mendes on loan. They are seen by many to be the early favourites to win the Champions League this season with such a star-studded squad.

While the new additions will add to their threat, City will be reminding themselves ahead of kick-off that there was plenty of talent in the side that they beat home and away last season.

“They have obviously strengthened a lot all over the pitch. The signings they have made this season have been fantastic and it will be a different challenge to the team we faced last year,” said Dias.

“But they have also been one of the strongest teams in Europe for a number of years now. The likes of Ramos and Messi will add to their winning mentality, but when we played last season, they already had Neymar, [Kylian] Mbappe, [Angel] Di Maria. Of course we will prepare for their strengths but we have to focus on ours and I’m sure it will be a great game.”

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