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Argentines Messi and Sampaoli face their first PSG-OM Clasico

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At the top of the poster for this Ligue 1 weekend, the Marseille-Paris SG shock will mark the great debut of Lionel Messi in the “Classic” of the French championship, but also of the Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli, who helped Southerners return to the top.

The stunning victory of PSG against RB Leipzig in the Champions League? The draw that OM won hard against Lazio Rome in the Europa League? The supporters of the two clubs are ready to exchange their European performances for a victory in the first Clasico of the season between Phocéens and Parisiens, Sunday, October 24, at the Vélodrome de Marseille.

The shock will have allure at the conclusion of the 11e day, between an almost untouchable PSG this season (1is, 27 pts) and a sparkling OM offensively and still well attached to the podium (3e, 17 pts).

Mattéo Guendouzi launched the hostilities of this traditionally hot match: “With this fervor here at home, I know that we can do something very well. (…) I believe in my team and I am sure that we will take the three points, “launched the ambitious Marseille midfielder, bravado, at the microphone of Prime Video.

Messi in search of his first goal in L1

Among the plethora of South Americans in both teams, two will discover the top of Ligue 1. On the Old Port side, Jorge Sampaoli, coach since February, will finally taste the hottest of French shocks. On the capital side, Lionel Messi will be confronted with the French version and the warm atmosphere of the Vélodrome.

Perhaps he will have a look at the original Clasico which, coincidence of the calendar, will take place a few hours before and which will see FC Barcelona and Real Madrid oppose each other, without him. However, he will have to remain focused: author of a double in the Champions League against Leipzig, Lionel Messi is still looking for his first goal in Ligue 1. Registering him in the den of the Marseille enemy would bring him directly into in the annals of the club.

In his quest, he can count on Kylian Mbappé, who served him two goals on Tuesday. Doubts still remain, however, around the presence of his friend and accomplice Neymar, embarrassed in the adductors.

For the anecdote, if Messi will discover Marseille and his ultras, who have planned to welcome him with large blows of printed “Qatari Petrodollars”, this is not the first time that he will play against OM. Then aged 17, the Pulga had argued, in October 2004, a friendly match between Barcelona and Marseille in Perpignan. It was another time, a time when Marseille regularly won its Clasicos.

Sampaoli, the man who woke up Marseille

Indeed, since the takeover of PSG by the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar in 2011, the Clasicos are hard for Marseille. It’s simple: at the Vélodrome, the Marseillais have not won against their best opponents since November 2011. In 22 confrontations since this victory, OM have won it only once: it was in September 2020 at the Parc des Princes.

>> To read also: Jorge Sampaoli, a new “Loco” to train OM

To turn things around, OM may have found their man: Argentinian Jorge Sampaoli known as “El Loco” (the madman). Since his arrival at the head of the team in February 2021 after a period of slump at the club, the technician has worked hard to methodically rebuild the club with his demanding methods. A job that pays for the moment: Marseille is in third place, with a game of the taste of the supporters.


Jorge Sampaoli thinks he has the key to controlling his compatriot, whom he had under his command when he was at the head of the Argentina selection:

“I played against him and I led him. He’s the best player in the world, it’s very difficult to control him. The most important thing is to minimize the individualities of PSG thanks to our control of the game. We must ensure that Messi is far from our surface, otherwise he can hurt a lot, “he explained at a press conference.

“How to control PSG while being offensive? By controlling the ball, with possession. We will have to control the loss of the ball in the face of very fast elements, who have a lot of individual capacities. We will have to defend with the ball. For us , it is the possibility of playing against the best players, so we will have to apply ourselves and raise our level of play “, he recalled. “We will also have to pay attention to emotions so as not to go out of the game. If we change our idea against such a strong and fast team, we will surely suffer.”

With a sold-out Velodrome stadium, OM will be able to count on the support of its supporters. The “Loco” is a man to feed on the warm atmospheres which constitute the salt of the “Classic”.

“We know that we have to be competitive for the supporters, the city, the club. The difference between these matches is the emotion of the supporter who gives it, that’s what makes it special,” he said. -he explains.

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