"He invents passes for you" – Ex-PSG star tips Lionel Messi to break Ligue 1 assist record due to combination play with Kylian Mbappe

Both Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi are in fine form this season.
Both Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi are in fine form this season.

Former Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) star Jerome Rothen has tipped Lionel Messi to break the Ligue 1 assist record this campaign due to his on-pitch camaraderie with Kylian Mbappe.

Messi, 35, has been in brilliant form in his second season at the Parc des Princes, helping them maintain their domestic title charge in the process. He is on the verge of breaking the Ligue 1 assists record, sitting at 16.

Angel Di Maria, who left PSG to join Juventus on a Bosman switch last summer, is the current holder of the Ligue 1 record. He set the benchmark in his debut season at PSG, contributing 18 assists in the 2015-16 term.

Speaking to Le Parisien, Rothen backed Messi to break the Ligue 1 record due to his superior level. He elaborated:

"Of course, it is possible that he will go for the record. And it would be totally logical, knowing that we are talking about the best footballer in the world. Crossing the bar of fifteen assists is really not a given for everyone here."

He added:

"But what puzzles me is to see Messi with so many assists while being so bad during the season. When we see his match at AJ Auxerre and he almost gets two assists because a goal from Mbappe is disallowed for nothing."

Rothen stated that Di Maria's record is in immediate danger as his compatriot and Mbappe share an almost telepathic connection in the final third of the pitch. Hailing both the PSG stars for their abilities, Rothen concluded:

"Their complementarity is obvious. When you are a passer and you can benefit from Mbappe's speed and calls, it does you a lot of favors. We can be critical of Messi's investment in the club, but we absolutely cannot ignore that he has an eye and a left foot well above average. When he is facing the game, he invents passes for you!"

He added:

"He gives time to the attacker to finish the chance and on these gestures, you can only savor. Automatically, he wreaks havoc with Kylian, who is clinical in front of goal. All this means that the assist record is still in danger."

So far, the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner has scored 20 goals and laid out as many assists in 39 games this season.

Is Kylian Mbappe close to departing PSG like Lionel Messi?

According to L'Equipe, PSG star Kylian Mbappe is unlikely to trigger the extension clause in his existing contract, which is set to run out in 2025. However, a potential transfer away from the Parc des Princes is highly unlikely.

Mbappe, 24, is the latest member of the Parisians' "MNM" trio to be linked with an exit as both Messi and Neymar are rumored to leave in the upcoming summer transfer window. While the former is expected to secure a free transfer away from his club, the latter has been linked with Manchester United, Chelsea and Newcastle United of late.

A right-footed mobile attacker blessed with pace and shooting, the 67-cap France international has been in fine form this campaign. Mbappe has scored a staggering 40 goals and laid out nine assists in 41 games for PSG so far.

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