Saturday, 22 January, 2022
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Messi shows off Ballon d’Or as PSG held by Nice

Messi shows off Ballon d’Or as PSG held by Nice
Paris Saint-Germain’s forward Lionel Messi (left) fights for the ball with Nice’s midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin during their French L1 match at The Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris on Wednesday. —AFP PHOTO

Lionel Messi showed off his latest Ballon d'Or to Paris Saint-Germain supporters on Wednesday but the Argentinian had a quiet night as the Ligue 1 leaders were held to a 0-0 draw by Nice at the Parc des Princes.

The 34-year-old had been a pre-match doubt having reportedly picked up a stomach bug after going out to celebrate being named the best player in the world for the seventh time at a ceremony in Paris on Monday.

However, he started against Nice in a PSG side missing Neymar, who is expected to be sidelined for up to eight weeks with an ankle injury, the latest setback in the Brazilian's time in the French capital.

Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe came closest to finding the net after the break for PSG, who had a huge let-off as Kasper Dolberg hit the post for Nice in the second half when it seemed easier to score.

"We created chances and I thought we deserved the three points," insisted PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino.

"We are improving little by little. We are top of Ligue 1 and through in the Champions League."

Messi has still managed just one Ligue 1 goal since moving to Paris in August from Barcelona, although he has also netted three times in the Champions League.

Gianluigi Donnarumma also showed off an award pre-match, the Italian displaying the Yashin Trophy he won at the Ballon d'Or gala for being the best goalkeeper of a year in which he starred in his country's Euro 2020 victory.