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Messi era begins as PSG beats Reims; Mbappe scores 2

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PARIS (AP) — The Lionel Messi era has begun at Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi made his debut for PSG on Sunday after coming off the bench midway through the second half in a 2-0 win at Reims in the French league.

Messi replaced his friend and former Barcelona teammate Neymar in the 66th minute and they shared a hug.

After years of glory for Messi at the 99,000-capacity Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, the record six-time Ballon d’Or winner and four-time Champions League victor made his first PSG appearance at the modest 20,000-seater Stade Auguste Delaune.

The 34-year-old Argentine, who led his nation to the Copa America title last month, joined PSG three weeks ago after his new contract with Barcelona fell through.

Striker Kylian Mbappe was named in the starting lineup as Real Madrid tries to sign him before the end of the summer transfer window.

Mbappe had scored both goals before Messi came on.

He headed in Angel Di Maria’s cross in the 15th minute and then turned in Achraf Hakimi’s cross in the 63rd for his 135th goal since joining PSG in 2017.

It remains to be seen whether it’s his last for PSG, which has started the season with four straight wins and has 12 points.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

The Associated Press

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