The Parisian giants traveled to Israel to face Maccabi Haifa for their second Champions League group stage match of the season. Messi was quite naturally the star attraction on the evening, especially for the young kids.
Prior to kickoff, both sets of players lined up to greet each other along with young children who act as mascots. The young mascots were awestruck upon seeing Messi up close. A few of them went and hugged the seven-time Ballon d'Or. A few even embraced Kylian Mbappe, who was right behind Messi.
The wholesome moment was captured on camera and can be seen below:
Lionel Messi did not disappoint as PSG ran out 3-1 winners over Maccabi Haifa
Lionel Messi was the star as PSG recorded a 3-1 comeback win over Maccabi Haifa in the UEFA Champions League. The hosts surprisingly took the lead in the first half through Tjaronn Chery. Maccabi Haifa doubled their lead moments later but their second goal was ruled out for offside.
However, Messi took center stage later in the first half. The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner scored on the 37th minute mark to make it 1-1. Kylian Mbappe drilled in a cross from the left-hand side. The ball struck a Maccabi Haifa defender who kindly fell to Messi for him to score from a close angle.
Lionel Messi turned from scoring to provider for PSG's second goal of the night. The Argentine skipper received the ball in midfield and produced an inch-perfect through ball for Mbappe to run and score past goalkeeper Josh Cohen.
Neymar Jr netted a third goal with two minutes remaining to secure Christophe Galtier's side's second Champions League victory of the season.
It is worth mentioning that Lionel Messi broke a couple of records following his excellent outing against Maccabi Haifa. The PSG forward became the first player to score in 18 consecutive Champions League campaigns.
The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner also surpassed arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo to score against 39 different opponents in the Champions League.
Messi has so far made an excellent start to the 2022-23 season for PSG. The former FC Barcelona superstar has netted five goals and provided eight assists from 10 outings across all competitions.
The Parisian giants will next travel to face Olympique Lyonnais in Ligue 1 on Sunday (September 18).
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