PSG Forward Lionel Messi Scores His First Goal As A 35-Year-Old
Lionel Messi scored his first goal since reaching the landmark age of 35 when he fired Paris Saint-Germain ahead in Wednesday's pre-season friendly with Kawasaki Frontale.
Messi netted just 11 goals in all competitions for PSG last season but club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said last month that in 2022/23 "we will see the best version of Messi ever."
The Argentina captain's first pre-season appearance came in a 2-0 win over Quevilly on Friday.
But his first goal arrived on Wednesday when PSG kicked off their tour of Japan.
Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar all started as PSG named an all-star lineup against Kawasaki.
Mbappe was involved in Messi's goal when he jinked inside from the left and clipped in a deep cross to Achraf Hakimi, who volleyed the ball back to Messi.
Messi struck the ball right-footed and his shot took a big deflection on its way into the net.
Messi celebrated his 35th birthday last month during a family holiday with former Barcelona teammate Cesc Fabregas in Ibiza.
Lionel Messi and his Paris Saint-Germain teammates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe squeezed in one final training session ahead of the opening match of their Japan pre-season tour.
The trio have attracted the attention of thousands of fans since arriving in Tokyo on Sunday. The French champions' schedule has included a coaching clinic for children and a reception with manga artist Yoichi Takahashi.
PSG kick off the first of three matches on Wednesday against Kawasaki Frontale at Tokyo's Japan National Stadium, followed by Saturday's game Urawa Reds at the Saitama Stadium 2002 and finally Gamba Osaka at the Panasonic Stadium Suita next week.