Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe has suggested that legendary teammate Lionel Messi is best in a central role after the seven-time Ballon d’Or made his goalscoring return to the starting lineup in that position in Ligue 1 at the weekend.
Messi has played a mixture of roles since his seismic arrival in Paris in August, often playing wide from the right. He has also operated as a ‘number 10’ behind a main striker and as the primary centre forward, as was the case on Sunday when PSG thrashed champions Lille.
Messi, who was forced to quarantine in Argentina in January after testing positive for Covid-19 while back home during the winter break, scored only his second Ligue 1 goal in 13 appearances in the 5-1 win, as well registering an assist.
Mbappe also scored, playing from the left in the ongoing absence of Neymar.
“It’s better when Leo is in the middle? Yes, but I’m not the coach,” the Frenchman told Amazon Prime in the wake of the game.
“Leo is a player who needs to be on the ball, to feel the game and the match to be involved. I think it’s a good position for him, he’s free, he can move around and take off.
“Me, I can play everywhere. I started in the middle, then on the right and now on the left but I still have a certain freedom in my movements.”
With only seven goals to his name in all competitions in what has been a season so far hampered by frustrating fitness complaints, Messi is likely to finish with fewer than 20. To put that into context, he hasn’t scored fewer than 30 goals in a given season since 2007/08 when he was 20 years of age.