Cheering, banners, autographs and pictures of home fans and players. 120 journalistic requests in a city with less than 200,000 inhabitants, cards up to 6,000 euros on the black market, reaction from the audience to each of his touches with the ball. Reims was in a trance last night.
How much euphoria reigned at the August Delan Stadium and we are not just talking about the Paris Saint-Germain fans present, it was also seen when the official announcer read the names of the football players on the bench. It almost never happens that the names from the bench get a standing ovation ... Unless they are Lionel Messi. The Argentine did not get a chance from the start, but all eyes were on him
Lionel Messi played the first minutes in the PSG jersey. A kind of turning point in his career and still it is for someone to disbelieve that it is no longer a game for Barcelona. The two historic dates after his departure from Camp Nou after 17 seasons are two. He arrived in Paris on August 10, and on the 29th he made his debut in the rich dream team that aims to reach the top, which is the Champions League.
In the 66th minute of the match, the fourth referee raised the scoreboard with the number 30, and Messi entered the pitch and took the place of Neymar, with whom they made friends and won trophies at Barca. Reims fans have started chanting the name of the expensive guest and filling the memory in their phones to provide as many digital souvenirs as they can with by many, the best football player in the history of football. The match was already settled with the two goals of Mbappe for which PSG and Real are still arguing over the price of the transfer, but last night in Reims the Argentine phenomenon stole the show.
The press center of the small French club, which was last champion 60 years ago, was flooded with 120 requests for accreditations, and due to the huge influx, more journalists were let inside. Three photojournalists camped on the bench at PSG to take as many photos as possible of Messi's first appearance in Ligue 1, and officials said a similar madness occurred with Beckham in 2013. As expected, videos of the match are focused on Messi only, and in the detailed reports it can even be read that his first passes were to Hakimi and Verratti. Reims goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic took a picture of his son with Messi, and then signed a banner with his name prepared by Reims fans.
The duel between Reims and PSG was watched live on small screens by as many as 10.5 million French people. It is by far the most watched match in the history of the French Ligue 1.
Messi, of course, attracted a lot of attention in Spain as well. Although there is not much interest in the French league, the arrival of the Argentine changed everything. His debut on "Tele 5" was watched by 2,214,000 viewers. They had a share in the viewership of 18.5 percent, which is also a record on the soil of Spain when it comes to the French championship.
Paris Saint-Germain is waiting for Messi's new debut, the one at Prince's Park. Then the Paris audience will have the opportunity to greet for the first time one of the greatest that this game has ever had. We will see if there will be a smile then and if League 1 will fear the trio of the great Messi.